Los Angeles-based HATCHspaces and Denver-based developer NexCore Group have announced plans to redevelop a strip mall near Metro's Expo/Sepulveda Station with an office complex purpose-built for companies in the life sciences industry.

The proposed project, which is the third on which HATCHspaces and NexCore have partnered, would rise from a property located at the northeast corner of Pico and Sepulveda Boulevards. Plans call for the construction of a five-story edifice featuring 100,000 square feet of office space, which would be enabled for wet lab facilities.

11071 W Pico BoulevardGoogle Street View

Developments near the E(xpo) Line have been commonplace since service began on the 15-mile rail link between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica began in 2012. But while other office developments have focused on technology and media firms - including new projects leased by Apple and WarnerMedia - HATCHspaces and NexCore are focusing on another budding industry.

“The greater Los Angeles market has matured to the point where large blocks of technically specific space is an immediate need,” says HATCHspaces co-founder Allan Glass in a statement. “Most of our wet lab portfolio is at full capacity, and there are several large block tenants actively in the market. We’ve had multiple major pharmaceutical and biotech companies reach out to us hoping to expand into LA from top clusters like San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston in order to tap into the deep and diverse pool of experienced talent already in the region.”

According to HATCHspaces, the overall vacancy rate for life science space is roughly 1.5 percent in the Los Angeles area.

The developers also pointed to recent efforts to rezone the communities surrounding the E Line as an impetus for the project. The Expo Line Transit Neighborhood Plan adopted by the City of Los Angeles notably attempts to encourage job-creating uses near Expo/Sepulveda Station.

11071 W Pico BoulevardGoogle Maps

While the Los Angeles has not historically ranked among the country's top life sciences clusters, officials have attempted to grow the industry through new bioscience hubs in Culver City and the South Bay.

“We have focused our efforts on delivering critical infrastructure to science and healthcare clusters that boast untapped innovation capacity," said NexCore managing partner Todd Varney. "The Los Angeles region has continued the momentum that began well before the pandemic and has amplified its reach as an ecosystem."