SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Danversport Explosion

November 20, 2007

New Danversport takes on a more upscale look

DANVERS — Like many of their neighbors, Janet and Mark Lettich went bigger and better when they had to build a new home in the wake of the Danversport explosion.

They used to live in a one-story cape with "tiny windows," as Mark described it. Their new house is a two-story modular colonial with a finished basement and side porch.

"We were able to take advantage of the situation as best we could," said Mark Lettich, sitting in the home office on the second floor of his new home. The floor-to-ceiling window behind him opens on a picturesque view of the Crane River with sea gulls swooping and the sun setting. "We wanted to see the river."

After being displaced for nine months, the couple and their dog, Luka, recently returned home. Janet Lettich toured their new master bedroom, and although they don't have a bed yet, the room's beauty | with a corner fireplace and picture window overlooking the river | is stunning.

"For the first time ever, we have 'his' and 'her' closets," said Janet, showing off the new space.

Danversport is a new neighborhood in many ways.

Boarded-up homes and leveled lots are a reminder of the explosion that decimated the neighborhood on Nov. 22, 2006, but those sites are juxtaposed by new houses that are bigger and fancier, with large front porches framed by tidy, white railings.

"It looks a lot more prosperous, that's for sure," said Deborah Riva of 1 Bates St., who will soon start construction on her new home, although she may be the only resident planning to downsize.

"We call it God's urban renewal project," said John Joyce, whose family recently returned to a new modular colonial at 9 Bates St. "Nobody got hurt. It was the oldest part of town. Now it's all new."

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