UCLA will convert empty mall to a research park

Jan. 4, 2024
The university has acquired the former Westside Pavilion mall in Los Angeles.

The University of California, Los Angeles, has acquired the former Westside Pavilion shopping mall and will transform it into the UCLA Research Park.

The university says the 700,000-square-foot property, two miles south of UCLA's Westwood campus, will initially host two multidisciplinary research centers: the California Institute for Immunology and Immunotherapy at UCLA and the UCLA Center for Quantum Science and Engineering.

“We will remake the empty former mall into a state-of-the-art hub of research and innovation that will bring scholars from different higher education institutions, corporate partners, government agencies and startups together to explore new areas of inquiry and achieve breakthroughs that will serve our global society,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.

The UCLA Research Park is made possible in part by an intended $500 million investment, with $200 million already allocated, from the state of California to establish the immunology and immunotherapy institute. 

The acquisition caps a multiyear effort by John Mazziotta, vice chancellor for health sciences and CEO of UCLA Health, to establish the institute at UCLA.

The institute will draw on the expertise of UCLA faculty members, scholars from different higher education institutions, and other leading scientists and practitioners in clinical and biomedical scientific research, including human genetics, genomics, computer science, engineering and information science. 

The UCLA Research Park also will be home to the UCLA Center for Quantum Science and Engineering, which conducts research in the emerging field of quantum science and technology — including quantum computing, communication and sensing.

In addition to its flexible work areas, the former mall includes a 12-screen multiplex movie theater that may be converted into lecture halls or performance spaces, enabling UCLA to offer programming across the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences.

The new space features a broad metal and glass facade and open areas with 17-foot ceilings, panoramic windows and expansive atriums inside and out. 

UCLA acquired the property and the attached multiplex theater from Hudson Pacific Properties and Macerich. 

The Westside Pavilion opened in 1985 and was a much-visited location over the following three decades. More recently, it suffered from a decline alongside other indoor malls across the country, leaving storefronts largely empty.

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