SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 18, 2014

Auctioneer buys downtown Beverly buildings

Casa de Moda to remain, new retail business planned

BEVERLY — Auctioneer Frank Kaminski has purchased the two buildings that house Casa de Moda, but the downtown’s signature store is not going anywhere.

Kaminski said Casa de Moda will move into one of the buildings and remain open for business, while he will open a yet-to-be-determined retail business in the other building.

Kaminski purchased one of the buildings from Casa de Moda owners Don and Jan Preston for $800,000 on Dec. 16. He said he has an agreement to buy the other building for $425,000.

Jan Preston, who opened Casa de Moda with her husband in 1969, said the store will consolidate into one of the buildings and remain open “for the foreseeable future.”

“Casa de Moda is still in business,” Preston said. “We’ll still be there.”

Kaminski said he plans to open some type of retail operation in the building being vacated by Casa de Moda. He mentioned an art gallery, an antique co-op, and home furnishings as possible options.

“This is a whole different enterprise for me,” he said. “I haven’t made any decisions, but we want to do what’s best for the community.”

Casa de Moda has been a fixture in the downtown since the Prestons opened the store at the corner of Cabot and Pond streets when they were in their early 20s. It sells an eclectic mix of jewelry, accessories, toys and games, home decor items, gifts, cards and stationery, among other items.

Jan Preston said the store has closed out its dance wear department and donated the items to a dance academy in Haiti. It will no longer sell seasonal Halloween items, but otherwise will remain mostly the same, only smaller.

“We’re excited,” she said. “Things change over the years.”

Jan Preston said the downsizing will enable Don to devote more time to his role as president of Habitat for Humanity of the North Shore. The store will still be open six days a week, but Jan Preston said she will also have more free time.

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