School has no plans to expand or change tenants on 14.2-acre complex
Jesuit High School's leaders don't plan to broaden the school's educational mission to include movie theaters, coffee, or bowling businesses, but with the purchase of the Valley Plaza Shopping Center next door, the school will serve as a landlord to those and several other retail and office services.
After weeks of negotiations and years of interest in the property, the school on Wednesday finalized the purchase of the 14.2-acre retail and office complex immediately to the west of the school's 34-acre campus at 9000 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.
No tuition dollars from the school's 1,280 students will cover the property's purchase, maintenance or operating expenses, with donations covering more than half of its expense, said Jesuit President John Gladstone.
"It's really just to plan for our future," he noted, adding that rent will pay for operations and maintenance. "We have no plans to change any tenants or plans to build or expand enrollment."
Gladstone declined to reveal the purchase price of the complex at this point.
"We want to make sure this gets filed properly," he said.
The property includes all aspects of the shopping center, with the exception of a Jack In the Box restaurant in the northwest corner that sits on a separate parcel. With 34,067-square feet of retail space, the Valley Plaza contains a Starbucks coffee, Pizza Schmizza restaurant, the Winterhawks Skating Center (former Valley Ice Arena) and Play It Again Sports, among other elements including a three-story office building.
"The school has been interested in the property for more than a decade," Gladstone noted. "We even looked at it again two and a half years ago, but it wasn't at that time a good deal to make. Now with the help of benefactors, we've been able to do this, and it's become our property without the use of tuition for its purchase or operations."
With its varied assemblage of businesses, the Valley Plaza will serve as a source of revenue while providing for future expansion opportunities should such plans become necessary.
"This way we can control which tenants are using the property," he said, "and it really protects the western flank."
Although the office building is not fully occupied, Gladstone is confident that goal can be achieved as the economy continues to improve.
"The office building is not full, but we certainly will get it full," he said. "We're just very excited about this opportunity. This acquisition allows Jesuit to plan for its future in a very deliberate way."
In the late 1960s, Jesuit sold 24 acres to the east of its campus that's now occupied by Ernesto's Italian Restaurant and other business. The school later bought four acres southeast of its football complex to build a softball field.
Gladstone is reasonably certain the Valley Plaza purchase will be the school's last significant adjacent property acquisition.
"This is it," he said. "We're landlocked now."