In recent years a change in consumer habits has converted malls and other shopping centers around the country from vast retail venues to affordable housing, healthcare offices, and centerpieces of new mixed-use developments. In 2019, a plan to convert the Westside Pavilion in West Los Angeles to office space for Google circulated. Now UCLA has announced intentions to reuse the site.
Located on West Pico Boulevard, the three-story, enclosed shopping center opened in 1985. It was designed by architect Jon Jerde—founder of The Jerde Partnership, a practice focused on shopping and commercial spaces— to meet with the scale of the neighborhood it is sited in. Jerde likened its scale to the urban retail venues similar to those found in places such as Paris and Japan. Retailers began shutting shops in the early 21st century, leaving the vacant mall ripe for redevelopment with Hudson Pacific Properties eventually acquiring the site in 2018.
A notice submitted to the Office of Planning and Research by University of California Physical & Environmental Planning detailed the school’s intentions to occupy the site. UCLA has not indicated what it plans to use the former mall for.
“This action does not constitute a decision by the University regarding further development of the property,” the notice read. “This action serves an essential role of securing land while the University determines its proposed uses for the property and a CEQA determination for the development of the site is performed.”
As previously reported by AN, Google signed a 14 year lease to occupy the former mall for office use, with the intention of moving into the space in 2022 following a renovation. Working with Gensler, the technology company sought to transform the 584,000-square-foot space into workspaces with terraces and folding glass walls connecting the interior spaces to the outdoor patios and the activated street front. Another Jerde-designed shopping mall in California is also the focus of a major redevelopment scheme. The Horton Plaza mall, a postmodern relic, is poised to become a mixed-use development with office space.