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‘We have started over’: Bishop’s School’s talks to rent out its former Jack in the Box property fall through

The property that formerly housed the Jack in the Box fast-food restaurant at 564 Pearl St. in La Jolla
The property that formerly housed the Jack in the Box fast-food restaurant at 564 Pearl St. in La Jolla still doesn’t have a new tenant, nearly a year after it was bought by The Bishop’s School.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Plans to rent out the La Jolla property that formerly housed a Jack in the Box fast-food restaurant have stalled, prompting The Bishop’s School — which bought the Pearl Street site nearly a year ago — to start over in its search for a tenant.

“We were negotiating a deal with a tenant and the deal fell through late in the process, so we have started over again, interviewing potential tenants,” said Bishop’s spokeswoman Cathy Morrison. “It’s a long process, and while we first thought it would take approximately nine months, the timeline looks like it will take longer than we initially anticipated.”

The Bishop’s School completed the purchase of the nearby property at 564 Pearl St. for $5.5 million on Sept. 30, around the time Jack in the Box quietly closed. The site was intended to be leased out in the short term and later converted for student use that hadn’t yet been determined. The hope was for a tenant to open by this summer.

“While we have long-term aspirations for student use,” there are no plans in place or a timeline as to when the building will be redeveloped for its ultimate purpose, Morrison said this week.

“It could be lots of things,” Bishop’s Head of School Ron Kim said at the time of the purchase. “This was about imagination and looking at our vision for how we can learn and grow better. Whenever we think about the future, we have the desire to expand what we can do. We want to make sure that space constraints aren’t going to prevent us from doing something. We want to imagine greatly.

“We’re very mindful of the visibility and location of that property. We want to be a good neighbor and know this matters to people.”

Given that the site abuts the campus, location was a factor in deciding to buy it, Kim said. “It’s a good-size lot and we know that proximity and size gives us options.”

When the school is ready to convert the property for its use, the plans will go before community groups for review. ◆