The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

January 22, 2014

Piece-by-piece: Property owner makes way for new Danville apartment building

— DANVILLE — An owner is taking a building apart piece-by-piece while trying to reuse as many of the materials as he can.

Robert Laubach, of the Bloomsburg area, has the red brick building at Pine and Lower Mulberry streets down to the first story. Only the frame is visible inside.

He plans to replace it with a two-story four-unit apartment building.

The new building will be raised so it isn’t in the flood zone. “It will be 18 inches above the flood elevation,” he said of the structure to be constructed at 122 L. Mulberry St.

The biggest reason he decided to raze the building, dating to the late 1800s, was that it was leaning, said Laubach. He has taken down old buildings in the past and remodeled other buildings. “I buy old properties and remodel them,” he said.

He will recycle the metal roof and the new windows he installed and he will save some of the 2-foot by 4-foot wood.

“I will reuse what I can instead of throwing it out,” he said. The building contained two stories plus stairs leading to an attic.

He removed the roof some time ago. When his son, Nicholas Fester, 18, was home during Christmas break, he was able to help with the demolition.

“The bricks have been coming apart. In the front, they stuck better together,” said Laubach. The bricks will be used for fill because the new building will sit higher.

Now that the building is down to one story, he plans to start pulling it down by hooking sections of brick to a wench and bringing them to ground level.

As for the old doors, he plans to sell them. “People love to buy old doors. I had a guy who bought the attic planks that were 16 inches wide. People stop to get wood for shelves and all kinds of things such as arts and crafts,” he said.

“I had one guy who took a trailer of wood. He builds chests and cabinets out of older stuff,” Laubach said.

He has a Dumpster with wood behind the building that he plans to take to his house to sort through.

The new building will be slightly smaller than the old building. The exterior will probably be siding. The new structure will be equipped with a sprinkler system. It will have a yard in front.

The owner will provide eight parking spaces, two for each tenant, behind the new building on a paved lot.

Laubach expects to begin construction on the new building in the spring.

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