, Salem, MA


July 10, 2013

New building revitalizes former fire scene


Walter Jacob Architects of Marblehead, whose architects Jeff Tucker and Gabriela Dumitrescu helped design the new building, took care to figure out how to best align the building in the neighborhood, principal architect Walter Jacob said.

The project faced some initial opposition from a neighborhood group and those in the school community nervous about a change to the area. The building’s mechanical units were tucked inside the building so as not to cause noise for nearby Hadley Elementary School, Jacob said.

“It’s change, but it all came out good,” Jacob said.

Business returns

On Valentine’s Day, Raina’s Hair Color Studio by the Sea, which had been at the Swampscott location for 31/2 years before the fire, was the first business to open in the new building. Shortly after the fire, owner Raina Morgan vowed to go back because she loved the community.

“We really didn’t have a chance to establish roots in the community and really become part of the community, and we really loved it up there,” Morgan said.

She also had a good rapport with Carey.

“I wanted to keep that,” Morgan said.

The salon employs seven people, including two part-timers from Swampscott who help run the reception desk.

“We have been doing really well. As each business opened, it drew more and more people,” Morgan said.

Huy Nguyen of Revere opened Oyo Frozen Yogurt, whose name is short for “ocean yogurt,” at the end of March. It’s Nguyen’s first such shop. He was familiar with the location. His sister lives nearby, and he has gone to the beach and the Swampscott fireworks over the years.

“It just happens this building was in the process of rebuilding because of the fire,” Nguyen said, “so we saw they were putting the footprints, the foundation, so we looked at this location as a potential to do business.”

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