ST. PETERSBURG, FL—Locally-based The Sembler Co., which has more than 2.8 million square feet of retail space in various stages of ground-up development, says it will be discussing its latest projects as well as its leasing and acquisition activity at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Las Vegas RECON on May 18-20.
“Our development pipeline is as robust as it has been in several years, and it just continues to grow stronger,” says Sembler CEO Ron Wheeler.
Sembler and partner Lennar Commercial are in pre-development stages of the 800,000-square-foot, regional shopping center, called Town Madison in Madison, AL. The firm has also completed two Wawa stores in Florida and four Walgreens stores in Puerto Rico in the last six months, with more projects underway, company officials say.
In addition, the company has been engaged in more third-party management and leasing assignments. “We added more than 900,000 square feet to our leasing assignments in 2013 alone—and still, our management portfolio is over 95% leased. The centers are better occupied, with retention rates at their highest in years,” says Steve Althoff, senior vice president of leasing and property management at Sembler.
In the last six months, a number of new tenants have opened in Sembler’s Town Brookhaven shopping center in Atlanta, including: Hydration Station, 18/8 Fine Men’s Salon, Vein Clinics of America, Smash Kitchen & Bar, Lucky’s Burger & Brew, and Shucks Oyster & Champagne Bar.
At Oakleaf Town Center in Jacksonville, FL a Zaxby’s is under construction in an outparcel sold last month, the company reports. In Sarasota County, FL Sembler recently revitalized the Nokomis Village Shopping Center, including the ground-up reconstruction of the Publix store anchoring the center. A Publix liquor store also opened at the beginning of this year, and Verizon Wireless recently signed a lease for 3,455 square feet in the center.
“Those are just a few examples,” says Josh Beyer, vice president of development/Florida and Gulf Coast market leader for The Sembler Co. “There’s a lot of movement in the retail industry right now, and we were perfectly positioned to capitalize on the momentum when it came. With more than 50 years as a leader in the industry, people know we can get things done.”
In terms of its acquisitions, the company reports that Sembler and Forge Capital, in their Forge Real Estate Partners III investment fund, have purchased several very successful shopping centers, including Tarrymore Square, a 256,805-square-foot center in north Raleigh, NC. Since the purchase, two new tenants—Compare Foods and Citi Trends—are under construction. FREP’s most recent purchase, Dale Mabry Shopping Center in Tampa, FL is currently 100% leased after a transition of its anchor store from Sweet Bay to a Winn Dixie.
“We’re still looking for value-add opportunities to increase our active pipeline,” says Sembler CEO Wheeler. “We’re staying busy.”