This morning's dispatch from the Tenderloin by Chuck Nevius because he is ever interested in how to gentrify our city's crackiest blocks brings news that there has been a little recent movement with the long vacant Hibernia Bank at the corner of Jones/McAllister and Market. It turns out that the retail developer who's owned it for several years has been stalled by two "competing good intentions" for the last few months ADA and construction code dictated that the historic marble teller's counter inside the bank's lobby had to be cut to accommodate wheelchair access, but preservationists were fighting to keep any of the (reportedly) beautiful interior from being altered in any way.
Developer Seamus Naughton says "We spent the last six months talking about the countertop alone," but now Mayor Ed Lee has come to the rescue and is trying to get the project pushed through as fast as possible. The Dolmen Property Group, which owns the building, says they could have it ready for a retail tenant within nine months.
You'll recall that the bank was the site of an ambitious tagging effort by local graffiti artistes Pemex and Sestor in 2010, a work which was quickly scrubbed off by the building's owners. The place hasn't been a bank in over 20 years, and the SFPD briefly used the building as a station in the early 90s, leaving it empty shortly thereafter.
Sidebar: Once upon a time in 1974, a different branch of Hibernia Bank, on Noriega in the Sunset, was robbed by Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army.