Halfway House: Tenderloin Police Captain Sees Partial Progress Now that Hibernia Bank Is Only Partially Derelict

For eight long years, the derelict Hibernia Bank building was the tarnished jewel in the Tenderloin's crown of thorns. The grandiose structure, barred off like a crime scene, was reduced to playing host for teeming crowds of drinking, drugged-up derelicts, a number of whom were dealing drugs or tossing soup kitchen food to the pigeons — who coated the building with thick layers of guano.

But all that has changed — by half, at least. “Right now, it's like half a vacant storefront — that alone relieves half the problems,” says the Tenderloin station's veteran, been-there, done-that Captain Gary Jimenez.

After years of gathering dust, criminality, and birdshit, the Hibernia — at 1 Jones Street — was sold last September. Enough time went by without the new owner stepping forward that locals began speculating the $3.9 million sale was just an insider deal gauging the market by the previous owner — His Holiness Grandmaster Professor Thomas Lin-Yun, the founder and supreme leader of the contemporary Black Sect Tantric Buddhism at its fourth stage (we are not making this up — the man who sold Feng Shui to America owned a building that contributed to a neighborhood's chaotic and criminal nature. Ironic, no?). In October of last year, however, The Dolmen Property Group announced that it was the buyer — and has since communicated to neighborhood groups that it plans to sink $17 million into restoring the 117-year-old building and bringing it up to code.

Since October, workers tromping in and out of the building — and, even more importantly, power-washings of the building's exterior — have discouraged loitering.

Tags: , ,

Related Stories