Business · Hanford

Hanford explores another option for long-vacant Bastille

The Bastille, the historic Kings County Jail located in Hanford’s Courthouse Park, has long served as the subject of a land use quandary for local officials.

That may change.

Hopes of converting the jail-turned-restaurant into the next outpost for Barrelhouse Brewing Company sputtered out in 2019 after brewery officials and the city couldn’t come to terms over how to handle swelling homeless populations in the park.

Earlier this year, the property was the subject of competing offers to explore development.

Hanford officials voted in mid-June to strike an 60-day exclusive negotiating agreement with 4Creeks, Inc., a Visalia-based civil engineering firm.

4Creeks, which spearheaded development of Visalia’s Darling Hotel, evaluated the property during the period but passed on executing a purchase agreement and launching redevelopment, city sources told The Sun on Wednesday.

Tuesday night, Hanford officials voted to authorize a new 60-day exclusive negotiating agreement with the back-up proposal, made by developer Jerry Irons and investor Greg Enloe.

The proposal, submitted by Irons and Enloe, envisions a gathering-point style restaurant that serves as a “coffee shop front patio in the morning, indoor and outdoor quick lunches in the afternoon, family dining in the evening.”

They describe a redeveloped Bastille, as part of an “intentional destination” in downtown Hanford.

The pair pegged their budget for fixing up the property at between $1.2 to 1.5 million.

Previous estimates from city officials tab the cost of improvements to bring the historic jail up to code will run near $1 million with another $1 million needed to turn the property into something usable, such as a restaurant.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.