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TOKYO-American International Group Inc. is nearing a deal to sell its Japanese headquarters for $1 billion, according to reports. Should the deal close, it is thought to be the largest commercial real estate deal since the financial markets began to collapse last fall.

A couple potential buyers have been eyeing the 15-story property, which is located in the Otemachi section of Tokyo across from the Imperial Palace. It is thought that when the deal is made public the HQ will go to a Japanese insurance company.

The 35-year-old building was put on the market in February and Merrill Lynch in reported to be handling the transaction. A deal is expected to be reached this week or next, but an exact date hasn’t been pinpointed due to the current Japanese holiday that has businesses closed through May 6.

The deal is part of AIG’s attempt to begin repaying the federal government the $45 billion it was loaned in the the rescue package. AIG executives are not commenting on the upcoming deal.

In a Wall Street Journal article from February, sources said a new owner could tear down the asset to build a larger structure on the one-acre plot. There are 25 tenants located in the class-A building, 1,000 employees in total. Every lease in the property runs out in 2010.

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