, Salem, MA

January 9, 2013

Businesses open during Derby Lofts renovation


---- — SALEM — Seven years after the scaffolding came down at Derby Lofts, it has gone back up again for a large building renovation.

Workers will install window flashing and replace the stucco finishing material on the building in a project that will be done in phases and is expected to take a year, according to Harvest Properties, the building manager.

The six-story building at the corner of Lafayette and Derby streets contains some of the city’s best known retailers, including Rouge Cosmetics, Engine House Restaurant and A&J King bakery.

“All the businesses are still open,” said Ann Massey, owner of Rouge.

Scaffolding went up for the first time in 2004, when the old Salem Laundry building was converted to Derby Lofts, a condo and apartment building. It stayed up for about two years in that large construction project.

While he understands the renovations are needed, one business owner said he hopes the sight of the scaffolding won’t scare away customers.

“For me, it’s not a welcome sight to see that again at this time of year,” said Peter Dragon of Engine House. “The quicker they get done, the better.”