SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

February 6, 2013

Local businesses primed for a rosier 2013

(Continued)

By counting the number of guests, business was up about 9 percent last year.

While the economy may have something to do with last year’s success, Salem’s success as a tourist and dining destination has also played a role.

“Salem has become a dining destination and a great place to live, shop and dine,” Carey said.

Pickering Wharf, where Finz is located, is also home to other eateries such as 62 Restaurant, Victoria Station and Capt’s Waterfront Grill & Pub — and that’s a good thing, Carey said.

“Competition is good if you can expand the market,” he explained.

RCG, a developer that owns much of downtown Salem, is another business that is bullish on the city. After sitting on a large downtown parcel to wait out the recession, the company announced plans last week for a $45 million development that could include retail stores, offices, housing and even a hotel.

”We think times are starting to get better,” said Matt Picarsic of RCG. And the company, which also has projects in Brookline, North Andover, Somerville and other areas, says Salem is “one of our better performers.”

When it comes to developing a building, RCG Principal Alex Steinbergh said his company takes a longer view of the economy than just the next year or two or three. He tries to look 20 years ahead.

“I think you start from the macro point of view,” Steinbergh said. “The economy is going to be higher nationally, despite the GDP report.” Steinbergh was talking about a recent report that showed the nation’s gross domestic product shrank slightly in the last quarter of 2012.

One of the positives has been that the Massachusetts economy did not fall as far as the rest of the nation, but the bounceback has also not been as sharp.

“I think there has been steady, positive gain,” Steinbergh said.

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