UCLA Expands in South Bay With $80M Buy

Marymount California University sold one of its former campuses, along with a student housing community.

Image by Tommao Wang via Unsplash.com

The Regents of the University of California, UCLA campus, has paid $80 million for two properties, formerly owned by Marymount California University. The deal, which closed on January 19, encompassed the MCU Oceanview campus in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and The Villas student housing property in L.A.’s San Pedro neighborhood.

Berkadia represented the seller, MCU, in the transaction, whereas Cushman & Wakefield worked on behalf of the buyer. Berkadia also secured $20 million in bridge financing for the sale, provided by JMB Capital Partners Lending LLC.

UCLA initially announced its acquisition plans in September last year. Due to financial struggles, rising costs and declining enrollment rates, MCU permanently closed in the summer of 2022.

As demand for UCLA’s academic programs is on the rise, the acquisition will enable the institution to meet its 2030 goals of increasing student access, research and public impact, as well as improving its ties to the larger L.A. region, said UCLA’s Chancellor Gene Block in a prepared statement.

Senior Managing Director Adrienne Barr of Berkadia Los Angeles and Senior Director Steffan Braunlich of Berkadia El Segundo brokered the sale, while Managing Director Keith Rosso of the company’s Los Angeles office handled the financing.

READ ALSO: What Experts Expect for Student Housing in 2023

The former MCU assets

Spanning 24 acres, the former, fully operable MCU Oceanview Campus comprises ten buildings, a library, tennis courts, a chapel and a swimming pool, as well as 11 acres of vacant land. The property is close to several green areas, such as the San Ramon Reserve, while an array of retail options, including Harbour Cove Plaza and Trader Joe’s, are less than 4 miles northeast of the site.

The Villas is a 11-acre student housing community in northwest San Pedro. The property comprises 86 townhome units with attached garages and private balconies, totaling 350 beds. Common-area amenities include a sand volleyball court, a basketball court, a swimming pool and a fitness center. UCLA also bought 1.7 acres of vacant land adjacent to the community.

Ongoing student projects at UC campuses

The University of California is registering strong fundamentals across its 10 campuses. UC Berkley is registering 12 percent annual growth in percentage of preleases, whereas UC Santa Barbara is the second institution with the highest rent growth at 17.3 percent, a recent Yardi Matrix report shows.

Both UC Davis and UC Berkley are among the nation’s top institutions with the most bedrooms underway across Yardi 200 schools, their pipelines reaching 1,778 and 1,084 bedrooms respectively, according to the same report.

In 2022, several major projects were announced at the institutions’ campuses, including The Mark at Los Angeles, a 166-bed community next to UCLA, developed by Landmark Properties. The same company is also developing a 300-bed student project next to the UC Berkeley, scheduled for completion in 2026. Last year, a 0.3-acre project site adjacent to the same institution, entitled for a 232-bed student housing community, changed hands for $22 million.

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