The now "protected building" was constructed in the 19th century as a Turkish police station and jail.
The Brits used it for the same purpose and after 1948 it was used by the prison services and then by the police, who left it for the big new police station on Salameh Street about a year ago.
Since then the property has stood empty, except for occasional use as a background for movies (e.g. the French movie "Delphine", currently shot in the country) and sleeping place for some of Jaffa's countless homeless.
The front entrance was properly shut off, but the backdoor was always open. The ancient cells made easy bedrooms i guess.
Yehuda Feigin is reported to be the architect responsible for the renovation, which is supposed to start in a few months.