‘Underutilized’ building on Girard Ave proposed for redevelopment 

rendering of proposed redevelopment of underutilized Girard ave building

A “prominent” building at 7777 Girard Ave. in La Jolla at the corner of Girard and Silverado Street in The Village is up for a substantial redesign.

The proposal will demolish the existing structure – currently the home of Chase Bank – and replace 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 and 10,050 square feet for 15 apartments on the second floor. 

Below ground, the plans call for 10,500 square feet of parking and storage.

The project, designed and presented by Mark Steele, received unanimous approval Oct 9 from the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee, which oversees community development following specific guidelines.

La Jolla resident Jack McGrory and other local investors bought the property last year, following their goal “to invest in La Jolla, in The Village and just try to make it better,” Steele said.

The current site is “underutilized,” he said. “It really needs to be replaced and rebuilt. … It’s a really prominent site.”

The proposed design aligns with the Village Streetscape project, a plan by the La Jolla Community Foundation to improve the street and public areas along Girard Avenue from Silverado to Prospect streets.

Steele also created the Streetscape plan, which he said is currently in the permitting process after receiving approval from various community groups in previous years.

The 7777 Girard project will feature “a little bit of a Frank Lloyd Wright feel,” Steele said, with  concrete and wood or copper in “natural colors and materials” as required by the PDO.

“We went through probably one through 100 permutations of this design,” McGrory said.

“We did our best to take advantage of opening up the sidewalk to make it a real, short, pedestrian-oriented … project that everybody enjoys seeing,” Steele said. 

The parking below underneath the proposed building – in tandem spots – would be for the residential units, he said, as “the residential parking is more important to the project than the commercial.”

The 15 apartments would range from 865 to 1,465 square feet, with three one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units.

The entire building is within the 30-foot height and two-story limits as set by the PDO, with Steele making use of mezzanines within the apartments within [the two-story] definition,” he said.

And as one of the two-bedroom units will be affordable housing for low-income residents, Steele is able to increase the FAR, or floor-to-area ratio, of the project from the PDO’s limit of 1.7 to 1.9 using a state-approved deviation.

The site is about 21,000 square feet; the project’s planned area is 39,700 square feet. 

“I think it’s fantastic and I love seeing development like this,” PDO member Andy Fotsch said.

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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