HONESDALE - The owner of a crumbling, vacant building on Main Street has opted to have the structure torn down, borough zoning/code enforcement officer Daniel J. Hnatko said Wednesday.
The old Quality Printing & Copying building, a two-story structure at 531-533 Main Street, has been collapsing since at least earlier this month.
The business is still operating, at 1008 Main Street, where it's been since 2010.
The 50,000-by-100,000 foot structure on the 500 block has been condemned and declared unsafe for human occupancy or use, making it unlawful for any person to occupy it.
A pile of red bricks that have peeled from one side of the building could be seen in a lot next to neighbor business R-3 Hardware.
"The building is in danger of possibly collapsing. It appears to be leaning about (four) more inches than (two) weeks ago," Hnatko said in an email to borough officials.
The building is owned by Kayhan Sengun, whose address is listed in Hemlock Farms in Lords Valley, Pike County.
He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.
The zoning officer was initially called to the site on April 9 when R-3 reported a partial collapse. A building code official inspected the premises and found them to be unsafe for habitation based on the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code adopted by the borough.
The owner was notified that he had to either repair or demolish, at his expense, the structure based on an engineer's report, said council President James Brennan and Councilman Robert Jennings, safety committee chairman.
Sengun has chosen to demolish it, Hnatko said.
It was unclear what the timeline would be for the demolition.
Hnatko said he could not say what is causing the building to crumble because there could be many variables involved.
Steps are being taken to protect neighbors and pedestrians.
Leeward Construction was installing concrete barriers around the structure on Wednesday, blocking off parking spaces in the front and creating a safe walkway for pedestrians.
Hnatko said the borough is taking the security steps to avoid a worst-case scenario.
"We are taking every step to protect the people," he said, noting the engineer said the building could collapse at any time or it could remain upright for quite a while.
Hnatko said if the building does collapse it would, theoretically, fall on top of itself.
The zoning officer also said certified letters are being sent out to neighbors to let them know of the situation.
Hnatko added that the neighbors have been very understanding and cooperative.
The 500 block of Main Street was constricted to one lane Wednesday afternoon as Leeward installed the concrete barriers.
Quality Printing moved out of the building in 2010. After that, the only occupant had been the Wayne County division of the Pennsylvania Democrats, which used the structure for a few months during an election year.