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UCLA Extension to occupy the Trust Building as UCLA acquires the downtown location

Pictured is the Trust Building in downtown Los Angeles. UCLA announced the acquisition of the building June 29. (Courtesy of David Esquivel/UCLA)

By Sharla Steinman

July 7, 2023 2:20 p.m.

This post was updated July 9 at 9:30 p.m.

UCLA announced the acquisition of the historic Trust Building in downtown Los Angeles on June 29.

The 11-story property built in 1928 is located on South Spring Street in the Historic Core downtown. The building has a gold LEED certification for sustainability, meaning it’s a carbon and cost-saving building certified by the Green Building Certification Inc.. The Trust Building was designed by John and Donald Parkinson – the creators of LA City Hall, Union Station and the LA Memorial Coliseum.

The building will be occupied by UCLA Extension, a public continuing education institution that focuses on workforce education and training by offering 150 certificate programs in more than 20 different fields, said a UCLA spokesperson in an emailed statement.

The building will be used for classrooms, student services and administrative offices, adding to those already established in Westwood.

In a press release, Eric Bullard, the dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension, said the institution hopes to make education accessible for all Angelenos.

“This new centrally located building will provide easier access for students while also allowing us to explore opportunities to make a difference in the community,” Bullard said in the press release. “Our goal is to be a public resource, helping steward a more equitable workforce for Los Angeles.”

Additionally, UCLA Extension plans to create professional development opportunities for students by partnering with government offices, nonprofit and community organizations, and businesses in downtown LA, said a UCLA spokesperson in an emailed statement.

Chancellor Gene Block said in an emailed statement that the acquisition will allow UCLA more opportunities to connect with the surrounding area.

“It is my hope that we can contribute in a small way toward downtown’s resurgence. Universities bring with them incredible vitality,” Block said in an emailed statement. “And as a public university, our students and scholars are invested in understanding and solving issues that impact the common good.”

The downtown acquisition follows UCLA’s largest land acquisition purchase, the Marymount California University Campus, a UCLA spokesperson said in an emailed statement. That site, which is located in Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro, is now called UCLA South Bay.

[Related: UCLA to acquire new sites in Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro]

The acquisition of the downtown LA site further embeds UCLA into the greater LA area, according to a UCLA spokesperson in an emailed statement.

“An important part of UCLA’s strategic plan is to strengthen ties to LA and expand access to our communities,” they said in an emailed statement.

A UCLA spokesperson added that the Trust Building purchase will help the university increase its student population, in line with the UC’s 2030 systemwide goals.

Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt also said in a campuswide message the acquisition will help further UC’s cross-campus goals.

“This new space will enable us to grow our enrollment and broaden access to UCLA offerings in line with UC’s 2030 goals,” Block and Hunt said in a message to the Bruin community.

In an emailed statement, a UCLA spokesperson said the acquisition also looks toward the future – as the Purple Line, an underground rapid transit line, is set to open in Westwood in 2027.

“It (The Purple Line) will provide an affordable, convenient, and environmentally friendly link between UCLA’s downtown presence and main campus,” a UCLA spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

The UCLA spokesperson added that the building will also be used by the UCLA real estate office and current tenants, including Rising Realty Partners, architecture and planning firm KTGY and the corporate offices of the José Andrés restaurant group.

UCLA Extension will start using the building later this year. While the work is still in its planning stages, Bullard said he hopes the location will help provide equitable, accessible education.

“The new UCLA Downtown location will allow UCLA Extension to better serve the Los Angeles community,” he said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to making this new hub, providing courses, certificate programs and student services.”

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Sharla Steinman | City and Crime Editor
Steinman is the 2023-2024 city and crime editor. She was previously a city and crime contributor. She is also a fourth-year political science student.
Steinman is the 2023-2024 city and crime editor. She was previously a city and crime contributor. She is also a fourth-year political science student.
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