Years in the making: the Hall building

NEW DIGS Property owner, Jose Montes has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating the old Hall’s building at the corner of Monterey and Sixth Streets in hopes of turning it into a restaurant on the ground floor, with residences at top.

The scaffolding along the old Hall’s Building at Sixth Street in downtown Gilroy has come down as the transformation of the former clothing store into a restaurant with housing above continues apace.
“This building is key to downtown revitalization,” said property owner, Jose Montes, who has spent more than $700,000 retrofitting and renovating the building that was once the home of Hall’s Western Wear. The building is one of eight downtown that need to be retrofitted for earthquake safety.
“It’s central location and the total transformation of the building itself is representative of what is happening downtown.”
Montes has been working on the large-scale renovations in earnest for more than two years and during that time the downtown has been experiencing a sort of renaissance. The new Paseo between Sixth and Fifth Streets has opened, a new brewery is planned for the old Net Fitness, and just a few doors down from the Hall building a new bar is being constructed.
“With the new bar coming and brewery farther down we have both sides of the street covered,” said Montes. “I’m very happy how everything is coming together.”
While there is still construction work to be done at the old Hall’s Building, with the scaffolding gone, new walls erected and a new stairway, the effort is paying off, and getting noticed.
“I’ve never received so many compliments about a building,” said Montes, who has received numerous calls and texts from people in the community about the building’s progress. “It’s been a good experience.”
Montes is preparing the building to have a restaurant on the first floor, with three residential units at top, all two bedrooms, one bath. There has been extensive work done on the building’s exterior and Montes has added more windows along Sixth Street to make the interior more light and airy. The windows are are also encased in attractive mahogany wood.
“When property owners step in to repair these buildings there is a lot of uncertainty,” said Montes, who has volunteered with the city’s ad-hoc committee to help get downtown’s remaining URM buildings in compliance with state-mandated rules for earthquake safety.
Montes said the Hall building has been retrofitted but still needs to be properly reviewed to get it off the city’s URM list. The building’s iconic cowboy statue Casey Tibbs, which adorned the old Hall’s store for years, remains in storage.
“If you believe in the downtown, shop and spend money here,” said Montes. “Community members are the true champions of our downtown.”