“Disston Plaza is a great example of a type of project we feel makes a huge impact, at an ‘every day’ level,” said Sembler SVP of Development Josh Beyer. “We were able to work with the city of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Publix, our tenants, nearby residents and neighboring businesses to make Disston Plaza a more convenient, safer, more attractive place for the hundreds of local residents who shop there daily.”
A major part of the Disston Plaza redevelopment project was tearing down the existing Publix and replacing it with a new, 45,600-square-foot store. Other upgrades included new lighting and landscaping, as well as improvements to parking and pedestrian areas. Additionally, traffic flow in the area was improved by a new traffic signal placed on 49th St. N. and the widening of 49th St. N.
Sembler’s commitment extends beyond bricks and mortar: the company has been growing its school grant program, which is coordinated through the Pinellas Education Foundation and provides funding for programs in neighborhood schools near the company’s centers. For example, the Disston Plaza venture has committed to providing grant money to Northwest Elementary for the second year in a row.
“My goal is to keep growing the program to impact more and more elementary schools – and I’m recruiting our friends in the industry to get on board,” said Wheeler, who is also personally involved in a number of philanthropic activities, including serving as Board chairman of the Florida Gulf Coast chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He encourages Sembler staff to participate in their own community service activities, as well as corporate initiatives with Habitat for Humanity, Foundation for Dreams, Salvation Army and many more organizations.
While Disston Plaza is only about three miles from Sembler’s headquarters, the company’s portfolio stretches throughout the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico, where it currently leases and manages nearly 10 million square feet.
As one of Tampa Bay’s most storied commercial real estate developers, Sembler has developed more than 325 projects – totaling over 27 million square feet – in its more than 50 years of operation. The full-service company offers development and redevelopment, acquisition, property and asset management, leasing and other related services. For more information, please visit www.sembler.com.