UCLA’s Bold Move: Transforming Westside Pavilion into Cutting-Edge Research Hub

UCLA’s Bold Move: Transforming Westside Pavilion into Cutting-Edge Research Hub | Future Education Magazine


Source – UCLA Newsroom

The Westside Pavilion, a once-vacant mall in West Los Angeles, is poised for a remarkable transformation as it finds a new purpose in academia. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), renowned for its academic prowess, has acquired the sprawling 700,000-square-foot property on Pico Boulevard for $700 million. The majority of the funding, a substantial $500 million, came from state investment, propelling the establishment of the UCLA Research Park, a state-of-the-art research campus.

Located merely two miles from UCLA’s Westwood campus, the Westside Pavilion will undergo a metamorphosis to house the California Institute for Immunology and Immunotherapy at UCLA and the UCLA Center for Quantum Science and Engineering, along with diverse programs spanning various disciplines.

Mall becoming a Hub of Research and Innovation.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block hailed the acquisition as “transformative” for the university, the city, and the world. He expressed gratitude to the California Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom for their instrumental role in making this ambitious purchase possible. Block envisions the former mall becoming a hub of research and innovation, fostering collaboration among scholars from different higher education institutions, corporate partners, government agencies, and startups.

Governor Newsom sees this venture as a testament to California’s leadership in technological innovation. He emphasized the pivotal role the UCLA Research Park will play in leveraging emerging technologies, such as quantum computing and immunology, to solidify California’s global economic, scientific, and technological dominance in the 22nd century and beyond.

The initiative to acquire the Westside Pavilion has been in progress for several years, spearheaded by Dr. John Mazziotta, CEO of UCLA Health. Mazziotta aspires for the UCLA Research Park to be the “immunology equivalent of Silicon Valley.” Google, which had previously leased the property, played a crucial role in facilitating the seamless transfer.

In addition to being a center for immunology studies, the research park will host the UCLA Center for Quantum Science and Engineering, engaging in groundbreaking research in the emerging field of quantum science, including quantum computing and communication.

The Westside Pavilion, inaugurated in 1985, boasts distinctive features like an enclosed pedestrian bridge, a broad metal and glass façade, 17-foot ceilings, and panoramic windows. As part of the acquisition, UCLA will also gain control of the attached multiplex theater, potentially repurposed into lecture halls or performance spaces.

Ambitious Goal to Produce an Additional 200,000 Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees by 2030

The university’s expansion efforts have been evident in recent years, with acquisitions like the former Marymount California University campus in Rancho Palos Verdes, the Trust Building in downtown Los Angeles, and the vacant Crest Theater in Westwood. These endeavors align with the University of California System’s ambitious goal to produce an additional 200,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees by 2030.

As UCLA continues to grow its footprint across the city, the transformation of the Westside Pavilion into a cutting-edge research hub marks another significant step toward advancing knowledge, fostering innovation, and contributing to transformative discoveries with global implications. Chancellor Block encapsulated the sentiment, saying, “We recognize the former Westside Pavilion’s place in L.A.’s history and are grateful for the chance to turn the empty former mall into the future home of discoveries that will change the world.”

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