Chase buys back La Jolla building; conversion plans scrapped

Months after plans circulated to redevelop the Chase Bank building in The Village, the deal is reversed.

Chase Bank has bought back the building housing its branch at 7777 Girard Ave. at the intersection with Silverado Street, putting an end to the renovation plans a group of investors recently initiated.

La Jolla resident Jack McGrory and other local investors bought the property in 2022 and hired a team to plan a substantial redesign, a proposal that received overwhelming support from various La Jolla planning groups last fall. 

The project would have demolished the existing structure, replacing it with a new, two-story, mixed-use building consisting of 20,650 square feet of commercial and retail space and parking on the ground floor, 10,050 square feet for 15 apartments on the second floor, and a 10,500 underground parking and storage area. 

A few months ago, McGrory received an offer from Chase to buy the building back for $18.25 million (the original group investment totaled about $14 million).

“I was always skeptical that [the purchase] would go through, because [Chase] kept coming up with … delays,” McGrory told lajolla.ca. 

The deal closed on June 24, however, after Chase followed through with their plans to remain on Girard, “which is a good sign for The Village, that they were willing to pay that kind of money to stay,” McGrory said.

Chase Bank declined to comment.

But as it appears Chase will not “do much with the existing building,” McGrory said, “it’s just an eyesore for the community.”

 “We thought buying it, tearing it down and then rebuilding,” he added, keeping Chase as a tenant, “we would be able to make a real difference in The Village … on that critical intersection.”

“I’m not happy with the way it came out,” McGrory said, adding he is “disappointed” a majority of the other “investors and the brokers wanted the money,” he said.

“The purpose was to do something good for the community.”

McGrory is still looking at other opportunities for similar redevelopment: “I’m open to just about anything along Girard,” he said, noting his efforts align with his commitment to aid the ability of longtime La Jolla businesses to stay in The Village, like buying the building for Warwick’s and helping music teachers buy the La Jolla Music school with various investment groups.

“I’d like to do a nice development project that would really be iconic inside The Village.”

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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