The long-troubled Sheraton Universal Hotel is officially on the market now, real estate brokers said Wednesday.
The 20-story tower in Universal City is one of the best-known hostelries in Southern California, but it has been in financial trouble since the recession brought the hotel industry to its knees. Los Angeles-based real estate developer and landlord Lowe Enterprises paid $122 million for the 451-room hotel at the top of the market in 2007 and spent $25 million on improvements to the guest rooms and public spaces.
Hotel values started falling in 2008, however, and kept dropping. The Sheraton Universal was appraised at $75 million in February by independent data provider Trepp, said Bob Kaplan, senior managing director of PKF Capital.
With business and leisure travel depressed by the recession, the hotel was hit by falling occupancy, which drove down income. Lowe lost control of the property earlier this year.