Apartments are 8 Years and Over 100,00 Miles in the Making
(Le Mars) -- Over 9,000 miles away from home, the Darmanin family of Malta is creating what
will soon be the home to at least 2 Le Mars residents. Charles and Doris Darmanin have owned
the building that's the current location of Hair Trendz and Twice is Nice for 12
years. When there's business on the lower level, sometimes the upper level in historic
downtown buildings can be a mystery. Not anymore at 107 & 109 Plymouth Street NW!
Nearly every summer they spend 5 weeks of vacation from their iron work business in Europe
to come to Le Mars and, well...work!
That's their son Lloyd. With his help, two light-filled, street facing apartments are re-done
from floor to ceiling with arched doorways leading from room to room.
Just a couple weeks ago, Lloyd says the outside facade was restored to reflect historic
downtown Le Mars style.
They were also able to maintain the original windows. Nearly finished bathrooms have a
fresh look with new tile and fixtures. And, besides a few finishing touches- what's left is
getting water up there as well as electrical. The Darmanin's say that's in store for next
summer, as their time runs out this year August 17th.
They said respecting the age of the building is important to them, the permits to build this
specific building were drawn up in 1902. However, compared to where they're from: Malta, a
small island south of Sicily, Lloyd joked with me about how 100+ years is nothing.
So what brought them to Le Mars in the first place? Their daughter married someone from
Merrill. Even though she doesn't live here anymore, Mother, Father and Son keep coming
back. Not just because of the property, but also because they love the people...oh, and Lyle
loves American cars. He frequents car shows and has bought for different classic cars in
the time he's spent here over the years. The cars have made the trip across the Atlantic to Malta.
Two additional apartments, that haven't been lived in since the 60's or 70's, located on the rear side of
the building, still await a face lift. When will those be complete? The
Darmanin's aren't sure, but there's already interest in the two that are being renovated.
They hope to have them done after next summer's visit to Le Mars.
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