Residents of McDonald may soon notice a change of scenery.
The large, abandoned apartment building at 122 E. Lincoln Ave., commonly known as “Brody’s building,” is scheduled to be demolished in the next few days. Marilou Ritchie, McDonald Council president, said a county grant paved the way for the condemned building to be razed.
“We had a flood in 2004, and the building suffered a lot of water damage,” Ritchie said. “The mold was just terrible.”
Ritchie said she toured the site after it was condemned by McDonald Council in June 2011. In addition to the water damage, she said the roof was falling in.
The red brick, 22-unit apartment building was spray-painted last week with “DEMO 5-8-13,” but crews had not yet begun working on the building as of Wednesday. Matthew Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Brothers Construction, the contractor for the project, said they would begin demolition as soon as they received the green light from utility companies, which he hoped would happen before the end of the upcoming weekend. No traffic disruptions are planned.
Washington County Redevelopment Authority allocated the funds for the $70,000 demolition project. Although this is the first demolition for McDonald, many other municipalities have torn down condemned or derelict properties using the community development block grant program. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Ritchie said that under the program, the lot has to stand undisturbed for two years before it is redeveloped. The borough currently has no plans for the land, but council members intend to discuss it further.
Ritchie said the latest owner of the building, Don Tomlins, had not responded to condemnation notices and owed more than $100,000 in back taxes. The borough will take over ownership of the property, but all back taxes and mortgage liabilities owed by the previous owner will remain.
Beginning in 1931, the building at 122 E. Lincoln Ave. was the original site of Brody’s Furniture. The company later relocated to Canonsburg.