Gregg Looney got into the construction business almost by accident.
Trained as a registered nurse and armed with a nursing degree from Rivier College (after a stint at the University of Massachusetts Lowell), he worked long hours at several health-care facilities, including Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.
But while working his way through college, he did a few construction jobs.
“When I was in college, I was doing rebar – the worst form of construction,” Gregg says with a laugh. “All the guys doing the forms were laughing at you.”
Turns out Gregg had the last laugh. He started New View Remodeling & Construction in 2005 and later joined some friends in their venture, Fine Line Kitchen Designs, eventually taking over that business as well.
Today, Gregg runs both New View and Fine Line out of 544 Merrimack Avenue in Dracut, a building that also houses Roy Fence Company and Force Electric. Fine Line offers kitchen remodeling, granite and flooring, painting, plastering, plumbing and electrical, while New View focuses on construction and remodeling.
He chuckles when he realizes he really hasn’t gone too far, geographically speaking. He was born and spent some of his childhood in Lowell until his family moved to Kilby Street in Dracut, a stone’s throw from his current office. He graduated from Dracut High School in 1993, then moved back to Lowell before he and his wife, Jennifer, settled on Brigham Avenue in Dracut, not a mile from his base of operations in the Kenwood Business District.
“Right next door was Chris’ Pizza, where I used to hang out and play Pac-Man as a kid,” he says with a laugh.
He also hung out a lot at the old Windsor restaurant, now The Tavern at Lenzi’s. His mother, Gale Martel, managed the Windsor for many years, and Gregg worked in the coatroom, making a couple hundred dollars in tips on a good night. By age 13, he was helping to prepare vegetables in the kitchen.
These days, he’s preparing kitchen redesigns and home remodels. Gregg says New View and Fine Line were affected by the pandemic – not too many businesses weren’t after all -- but they’re still “plugging along” as the costs of materials remain out of whack.
“It’s definitely been trying,” he says, adding that he has put some projects on the back-burner.
“Materials have been through the roof, so I’ve been hesitant,” he says. “I’m just letting the dust settle. When the lumber’s supposed to be $18,000, then it comes in at 5,000 – it’s been a little frustrating. Lumber was up 360% at one point.”
As if Gregg isn’t busy enough running two companies, he still works as a critical-care nurse at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen one day a week to keep his skills current.
And he still finds time for his hobby – hunting that monster tuna in the Atlantic Ocean. Gregg and some of his friends made national headlines in 2013, when they booked a fishing excursion with the Gloucester-based reality show “Wicked Tuna” and caught a 920-pound, 112-inch tuna (that’s a really big fish) off the coast of Cape Cod.
Gregg owns a boat now, and he says he and his friends reeled in a 115-inch tuna in July.
When he’s not on the open seas or helping to save lives, you can find Gregg at 544 Merrimack Avenue. You can reach New View Remodeling & Construction at 508-951-1200 and Fine Line Kitchen Designs at 978-453-3553 and http://finelinekitchendesign.com.
Just don’t be surprised if you see a sign on the door saying, “Gone fishing.”