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North Adams Dentist Moving Practice to Inn

By Tammy Daniels

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Dr. Eugene Messenger is planning to expand his practice with a move to the former Jae's Inn on Curran Highway.

Messenger and his wife, Donna, purchased the vacant structure on March 25 for $700,000 from restaurateur Jae H. Chung. The practice's current building on East Main Street will be placed on the market with Steepleview Realty.

"The office is growing and I kind of a outgrew this place," said Messenger on Monday. "There's no parking, not even for my staff."

The Victorian building's historic status and close neighbors made it difficult to adapt it to contemporary needs such as parking, handicapped access and more office space.

"I love this building and I didn't want to tear it up to do what I wanted to do," he said.

Space shouldn't be a problem at the new place, which boasts plentiful parking, a first-floor restaurant and dining area, and an 11-room inn.

There's even enough room for the Messengers to move back into the same building as the practice. They had lived on the second floor of the Victorian and the doctor turned the space above the garage into a "man cave," he said. The couple, however, moved to a home on 15 acres behind Natural Bridge State Park some years ago. That property, too, will be put up for sale.

Messenger needs the space. He has 10 employees and eight chairs but his practice is growing by 20 or 30 patients a month. The move will allow him to add three more chairs and another hygienist.

Also coming on board will be his daughter, Annamarie, when she graduates in two years from dental school. After eight years of study, she'll do her residency with her father, who doesn't think he'll be too tough on her. "I'm afraid she'll be tough on me."

Messenger said he'd actually thought the inn would be a good place for a practice when he came to the city nearly two decades ago but never really believed it could happen. But when Chung put up signs announcing the closure last December, Messenger jumped at it — just before it went into foreclosure.

Renovations started Friday with Mackin Corp., JP Painting and electrician Michael Lescarbeau. The new office is expected to open around the end of June.

With a Walmart Super Center planned just up the road, Messenger thinks his high-profile location will help his already burgeoning practice — some 6,000 patients — to keep growing.

"I'm going to get so much traffic, it's unreal," he said.

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