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HONOLULU-Maruito USA Inc., the US subsidiary of Japan-based Maruito Group, has acquired the 130,600-square-foot Pacific Guardian Tower office building from A&B Properties, the real estate subsidiary of Honolulu-based Alexander & Baldwin Inc., for $38 million. PGT, as the 18-story office tower is known, is located at the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Keeaumoku Street, across from a primary entrance to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, Hawaii’s largest shopping center, in the Kapiolani office submarket of Honolulu. The building was completed in 1989 and purchased by A&B in 2001.

According to Norbert M. Buelsing, president of A&B Properties, average net rent at PGT increased 34% during the company’s ownership of the building and occupancy increased from 74% to 95%. A&B, which completed a number of upgrades to the building, expects to redeploy proceeds from the sale, on a tax-deferred basis, into “other commercial real estate investments with strong growth potential,” Buelsing says in a statement regarding the sale.

Maruito USA was represented in the sale by NAI ChaneyBrooks, which has also been appointed property manager and leasing agent for the Pacific Guardian Tower. According to Steve Sombrero, president and owner of NAI ChaneyBrooks, Maruito has been actively investing in Hawaii and other parts of the US for more than a decade. Sombrero, who represented the buyer, says that Maruito’s chief objective is to invest in class-A property in prime locations for long-term holds. Maruito’s parent company owns and manages a large portfolio of commercial properties primarily in Japan. It is also a major shareholder of Acom, one of Japan’s largest consumer loan companies, which is a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

With the sale of PGT, A&B Properties’ commercial property/investment portfolio consists of 8.4 million square feet of retail, office and industrial space located in Hawaii and eight mainland states. A&B parent Alexander & Baldwin is engaged in a number of industries, including ocean transportation, logistics services and agribusiness.

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