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Google has signed a 14-year lease for the entirety of the iconic Los Angeles mall, which will be redeveloped into a 584,000-square-foot office space called One Westside, according to property owners Hudson Pacific Properties and Macerich. The lease will begin in 2022, when construction on One Westside is complete. Construction will begin later this year.
Designed by mega firm Gensler, the project plans to make use of the mall’s current format — “The project repurposes high ceilings and a multi-level atrium and skylight, allowing for natural light-filled interiors,” Hudson Pacific and Macerich’s release says — and proximity to the LA Metro’s Westwood/Rancho Park station on the Expo Line. The Landmark Theatre, Westside Tavern and attached shops, which are adjacent to the Pavilion, will all remain untouched.
The One Westside news comes within months of Google opening their new headquarters in Playa Vista’s historic Spruce Goose hangar. The four-story office contains 450,000 square feet of office space, the size of six football fields.
“We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Google, and are proud to support this significant phase of their growth. Google’s selection of One Westside demonstrates the strength of the Los Angeles tech and media industries, and exemplifies the type of creative office space that is in demand from large tech and media tenants,” Hudson Pacific Properties chairman and CEO Victor Coleman said Tuesday in a statement. “One Westside also demonstrates Hudson Pacific’s ability to identify and swiftly execute on large-scale and complex investment and adaptive-reuse opportunities to meet that growing demand.”
The announcement follows years of attrition of retailers at the Pavilion, leading to stories that mourned the death of the consumerist mecca, immortalized in pop culture when its exterior was featured in the 1995 Amy Heckerling film Clueless. Major tenant Macy’s left the Pavilion last May, while Nordstrom vacated in September 2017. Hudson Pacific Properties announced that it was converting 80 percent of the mall into offices for rent in March.
“Whatever damage internet shopping did to spaces like this became nearly fatal during the Great Recession of the late 2000s, when the country chilled to the idea of frivolous browsing, let alone buying things we probably didn’t need,” Nathan Dueul wrote of the Pavilion in Los Angeles magazine in 2018.
The news of Google’s lease of the project on Tuesday was met with dismay by some, who fear that the tech giant’s entry into the Pavilion’s West Los Angeles neighborhood would further gentrify it. Others mourned the loss of the once-vibrant mall and the memories they made there: “Long live the Westside Pavilion. It’s where I ate Panda Express for the first time, smoked and chewed my first candy cigarette, watched ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ and repped the Los Angeles Raiders for Halloween,” wrote one Twitter user.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had a more positive take on the news. “.@Google & @HudsonPPI are making powerful investments in L.A. & the genius of our people by turning part of the Westside Pavilion into offices,” he tweeted. “When the jobs of tomorrow go near transit hubs, we create opportunities for every community to thrive & be part of defining the future.”
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