Sembler In The News: October 2017
Relief, Recovery and Resiliency Puerto Rico After the Storm
Two historic category 5 hurricanes hit Puerto Rico a mere two weeks apart in September. Hurricane Irma one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic, made landfall on September 6th, and in a merciless twist, she was followed by the devastating Hurricane Maria on September 20th. While still recovering from Irma, Maria pounded the island, bringing sustained winds of 155 mph and gusts of 195– so strong they wiped paint off of concrete buildings and broke concrete electric poles as if they were twigs. In the ensuing aftermath, 58 were dead, 113 people unaccounted for, nearly 90% of the island’s population remains without power, crops were flattened, a treasured rainforest lost and the islands Infrastructure was left in shambles.
The Sembler Company has operated in Puerto Rico for over 25 years, developing and managing shopping centers and single tenant properties across the island.
“Our primary concern was for our staff, their families and the many people with which we have developed relationships with on the island over many years. We were so relieved to hear from them all shortly after the storm that they were safe, but they needed our help as soon as possible,” said Sembler CEO Ron Wheeler.
The whole Sembler team immediately stepped up to help. Nearly $10,000 was donated from employees and partners and three shipments of relief supplies have also been sent to our people to date. These shipments include generators, extension cords, battery operated lights and fans, batteries, water filters, tarps, food, paper products, personal hygiene items, water, and more.Plato Academy, a Florida charter-school chain, held a collection at seven locations to add to our efforts. Two of the relief shipments were sent on a private jet coordinated through our relationships with JLL and a Tampa Bay businessman. The third shipment of generators was sent through Missionary Flights on a cargo plane and more shipments are planned.
With the Sembler team in Puerto Rico safe and supplied, the job of repairing and rebuilding can begin. While properties sustained some damage, the solidly built centers held up well and many tenants are already starting to reopen, powered by generators and people determined to persevere.
The Sembler team remains committed to our people and families in Puerto Rico as well as the well-being and success of our tenants and vendors, and even Category 5 storms cannot compete with the resiliency of Puerto Rico and its people.
Sembler Revitalizes St.Petersburg’s Disston Plaza
The Sembler Company has announced plans for the revitalization of Disston Plaza, a 123,000 square foot center anchored by Publix Supermarkets, located at 3501 49thStreet North in St. Petersburg.
Publix will close during construction, while the rest of the center will remain open. Part of the scope of the redevelopment includes tearing down the existing 40,000 square foot Publix and replacing it with new a 45,600 SF store.
Many upgrades are planned for the center, including new lighting, new landscaping, and improvements to the parking and pedestrian areas. Additionally, a new traffic signal on 49th Street is being constructed in front of the center. There will also be a section of road widening from 38th Avenue to just south of the Disston Plaza.
“The shopping center market in this region is very healthy right now, and poised for growth,” said Josh Beyer, Sembler’s Senior Vice President of Development. “Improving the Publix offering and upgrading the entire center will enhance the customer experience for all of our tenants.”
The revitalization of Disston Plaza will be completed by Fall 2018