Pepperdine University Endowment Fund Purchases Miramar Office Complex

Pepperdine University’s endowment fund, the nonprofit Wave Enterprises, Inc., purchased offices in the Malibu Civic Center last month—its first investment in Malibu commercial real estate.

The buildings, the Miramar office complex, are familiar to many in Malibu, even if they don’t know their name—most know the white buildings as the location of UCLA Health, as well as a number of other professional tenants, directly across from City Hall on Stuart Ranch Road. 

Jeff Pippin, senior vice president and chief investment officer at Pepperdine University, headed up this deal and is in charge of managing the university’s endowment, general reserves, treasury, trust and annuities and real estate. 

Wave Enterprises is the “title for our endowment,” he explained in a phone interview, “and the entity for direct real estate enterprises … We look for longterm assets to put into our investment portfolio.”

A good portion of its monetary assets are currently “invested in real assets as opposed to stocks, bonds and cash,” Pippin continued, largely due to recent actions of “the central banks, the federal reserve and congress pumping trillions into the economy as people lose jobs.”

Pippin foresees the country entering a period of deflation for now, but thinks that will change to significantly higher inflation in the long run.

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A number of things appealed to the Waves about purchasing the Miramar office complex as an income-producing investment property. First was simply its location in Malibu. 

“We know Malibu and we like Malibu,” Pippin said, “and they’re not making more buildable land here.” Second was the fact that it already has “great tenants” like UCLA Health and other professionals.

“We love having UCLA as a tenant and we hope to make it a first-class professional building,” he said. “That’s the kind of tenant we want to build and expand on.”

Pippin confirmed that Pepperdine University itself has no plans to occupy the building at this time. “But since it is an investment property,” he pointed out, “if it ever did occupy any part of the buildings in the future, it would have to pay rent just like any other tenant.”

Jennifer Knauff, an experienced property manager employed by Pepperdine for the past four years to manage on-campus faculty and other housing, has been transferred to the Miramar complex as its new on-site property manager.

She revealed that Pepperdine intends to change the name of the building complex from “Miramar” to “The Waves at Malibu,” but says it will take time to get approval for the new signage. 

Otherwise, she is getting to know the tenants and managing the daily operations of the place. 

“We’ve talked to UCLA at length, and they’re very excited about the change,” Knauff said.

But, as with any commercial office property these days, there are also current vacancies to be filled.  

The two-story property, formerly owned by Miramar Property Investment Co. and located at 23805 and 23815 Stuart Ranch Road, was built in 1990 and sits on just under three acres with 160 parking spaces. 

Local Realtor Tony Dorn of Beitler Commercial Realty Services, along with his son, AJ Dorn of Newmark Knight Frank, represented the sellers, while Dennis Torres represented the buyers. 

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