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A Deal’s A Deal

Land disputes are as old as time, and they’re often hard-fought and very difficult to settle. But the more distinctive the property and the more sprawling the history, the more ferocious the fight.

The Claremont Colleges is a renowned consortium of seven educational institutions with interconnected campuses in Claremont, California. This unique educational community was envisioned in 1925 and made possible by a gift of hundreds of acres of land that same year. 

The Claremont Colleges has stewarded its land, in furtherance of its educational mission, for nearly a century. In 1957, The Claremont Colleges granted the Southern California School of Theology (CST) 16 acres of land adjacent to The Claremont Colleges for the establishment of an interdenominational graduate school of religion and theology to be conducted in affiliation with The Claremont Colleges.  

This conveyance came with two essential and permanent conditions: the property could only be used for educational purposes, and The Claremont Colleges retained a right of first offer, enabling them to repurchase the property at a price not to exceed certain of CST’s costs of ownership. CST readily agreed to these conditions. 

Decades later, though, land values had skyrocketed and CST was no longer committed to the unique educational community it had enjoyed since 1957. Recognizing that The Claremont Colleges had the ability, under the right of first offer, to repurchase CST’s property for approximately $3.5 million, CST initiated a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the 1957 deal and enable CST to pursue a commercial sale of its campus, for up to $40 million, to the highest-bidding developer.  

The Claremont Colleges turned to Loeb & Loeb to stop that from happening. And two cases, an extraordinary writ, a trial, three successful appeals and a published appellate decision later, that’s exactly what we did. 

In the end, Loeb & Loeb’s team convinced the court that a deal is, in fact, a deal.

Under that deal, CST’s campus property will be returned to The Claremont Colleges and forever dedicated to The Claremont Colleges’ educational mission.
Now that’s the real deal.