Tacoma man is renovating a rundown office building in the Hilltop neighborhood

A local man is breathing new life into a run-down office building in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.

“The Hilltop has a lot of potential,” owner Jim Sheridan said Thursday. Along with other private investors, Sheridan bought the building at 919 S. Ninth St. this spring. It’s been vacant for years, the target of vandals and wire thieves.

Most recently the roof had started to collapse.

For a “before” view of the building, click here for a look through Google Street View.

Sheridan doesn’t have a tenant yet, but he began construction with the goal of landing one who is interested in the renovated space.

Most owners of vacant buildings don’t put money into repairs until they have a tenant and the accompanying revenue stream that allows them to secure a loan. Sheridan wasn’t up for that strategy. He has put on a new roof, taken the building down to the studs and installed new wiring, plumbing and air systems. Outside will have additional brick and stucco, as well as new landscaping. He estimates by the end of the renovations he’ll have spent $150,000.

The inside will be shell space until he has a tenant.

“I wanted to take the bull by the horns and try to attract those tenants. I don’t see how it can work any other way,” he said. Sheridan, 44, has lived in the area since the 1990s, when he moved here while serving in the Army. He also owns Events on Sixth, a 90-year-old former Baptist church at 2520 Sixth Ave. that he renovated in 2011-2012.

The building’s last owner and major user was POCAAN – the People of Color Against AIDS Network, which is based in Seattle. It closed its Tacoma office several years ago after some funding ran out, said program director Walter McKenzie.