Language education firm to buy 15-acre campus in Pasadena

EF Education First acquired the campus, worth around $40M

The church building at William Carey International University (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The church building at William Carey International University (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

An educational company has agreed to purchase a 15-acre campus in Pasadena owned by William Carey International University.

Switzerland-based EF Education First, a company that specializes in language learning and international educational travel, expects it will take 16 months to obtain permits from the City of Pasadena, at which point the parties will close the deal, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

The sale price wasn’t disclosed, but realtors in the area told the Business Journal the property was worth as much as $40 million. It was first listed in September and attracted around a dozen bidders, including developers, according to William Carey President Kevin Higgins.

The main campus is at 1539 E. Howard Street. EF Education First will also buy 16 residential properties on North Oxford Avenue and a soccer field, but will not buy 131 housing units owned by William Carey or an campus hall owned by its affiliated Christian mission group, Frontier Ventures.

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The campus is a former ranch purchased and developed as the campus of the Pacific Bible College at the turn of the century. That school was renamed a handful of times and became Point Loma Nazarene University following a move to San Diego in 1973. Frontier Ventures moved in shortly after. The school was founded in the mid-1990s.

The school and mission will transition to a “decentralized model” with smaller locations worldwide and use the money from the sale to fund their missions, according to a press release.

EF Education First’s U.S. headquarters is in Boston and it operates a small outpost in Redondo Beach, one of about 580 worldwide, according to its website.

[LA Business Journal] — Dennis Lynch