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UCLA continues expansion, purchases historic Trust Building in DTLA

UCLA has acquired a historic building in downtown Los Angeles in a step towards expanding student access and strengthening engagement with the city's diverse communities, the university announced Thursday.


The purchase of the Trust Building — an 11-story property built in 1928 and located on Spring Street in downtown's Historic Core — "sends a clear message to the people of Los Angeles that UCLA is deeply invested in their future and that of the entire region," campus leaders said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Los Angeles is one of the world's greatest cities, and our university's location within it both enriches the UCLA experience and provides us innumerable opportunities to serve our local communities," Chancellor Gene Block and other UCLA officials wrote in a message to the campus.

"We are thrilled about the possibilities this new space offers and confident that it will further intertwine UCLA and L.A., helping us to deepen the impact of our teaching, research and public service mission."

The acquisition comes on the heels of UCLA's announcement last September of a new 24.5-acre UCLA South Bay campus in Rancho Palos Verdes and an 11-acre residential site, the UCLA South Bay Villas in San Pedro, designed to enable UCLA to reach and serve more students, Block said.

Beyond advancing the university's regional goals, the new downtown site and South Bay locations will aid the University of California in achieving its 2030 systemwide goals of significantly growing enrollment and increasing graduation rates, officials said.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass applauded UCLA's new downtown acquisition and the university's stated goal of serving communities across the city.

"Downtown is at the center of so much of what makes Los Angeles great, like our growing public transportation system, job opportunities, and arts and cultural institutions," Bass said in a statement. "It's exciting to see institutions like UCLA expanding their presence in downtown Los Angeles and committing to its future as a vibrant urban hub that draws people from all over our city and around the world."

The university stated that a portion of the 334,000-square-foot Art Deco/Moderne-style Trust Building, acquired by UCLA from Rising Realty Partners, will house programs and administrative offices for UCLA Extension, which focuses on workforce education and skills training. UCLA Extension will anchor the new location.

Located at 433 S. Spring St., the newly acquired site sits in a section of downtown south of City Hall that was once known as the "Wall Street of the West" for its profusion of financial institutions and is Thursday dotted by landmarks like Grand Central Market, the Last Bookstore, the Bradbury Building, Broadway's historic century-old movie palaces and dozens of eateries.

The nearby Pershing Square Metro station and other public transportation lines provide access to the site from most areas of the city. Further, Metro's 2027 planned expansion of the Purple (D) Line will link downtown directly to UCLA's Westwood neighborhood, creating opportunities for Bruins to more easily learn, work and serve across the region, according to the university.

"It is exciting to see UCLA continuing to expand its presence across our region with this new acquisition in downtown Los Angeles," Stephen Cheung, president and CEO of the nonprofit Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, said in a statement.

"There are many opportunities for partnership between higher education and the business, nonprofit, governmental, philanthropic and local communities, and having a greater presence downtown is a tremendous way to further strengthen UCLA's connections across our city and county."

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