Vital Zuman Slated to Remain Farm
• Realtor Says New Owner Doesn't Plan to Develop Site
BY BILL KOENEKER
The continued speculation about what real estate mogul and investor Donald Sterling plans to do with the purchase of the Fig Tree Ranch currently known as Vital Zuman Farm has caused the part-time Malibu resident to issue a statement through the real estate agent that handled the transaction.
"[Sterling] purchased the property to support Vital Zuman project," said Realtor Sandra Peltola, who said she represented both the buyer and the seller, Alan Cunningham.
"[Sterling] said he has no plans to develop the property. There are no plans to change it," added Peltola, who said that Sterling paid $2.5 million for the property.
Cunningham will remain to head up the operations, which mostly consist of volunteers, according to Peltola, who said Sterling liked that concept.
Peltola said the house will be remodeled and Cunningham will live off site. She said she did not know if Sterling, who owns a home in the Malibu Colony, would use the residential portion of the property once it is completed. She said it would probably take several years for the remodel to be finished.
The real estate agent said Sterling approached her since she had the listing, and took a tour of the property.
When Peltola was asked what motivated Sterling to purchase the land, which has been touted as a half-century-old organic farm, she said, "He is a philanthropic person. He does grants all around Los Angeles County."
Malibu city officials have had their eye on the property since it was known that Cunningham would have to give up the property.
One council member suggested the city could purchase the property and maintain it as an historic farm.
At one time, a municipal blue ribbon task force looked at the property and adjacent acreage called the DeWind property and was asked to make recommendations for what the city could do with the land if it purchased it.
The DeWind property was recently sold to Zan Marquis, the owner of the Point Dume Village shopping center.