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Sembler closed year with deals in new markets, increased occupancy rates


St. Petersburg, Fla. -- In 2014, The Sembler Co. said it saw increased activity across business segments, from more than 700,000 sq. ft. of new and renewed leases, to expanding the company’s geographical reach.

The Sembler Company and Forge Capital Partners, in their Forge Real Estate Partners III (FREP) investment fund, invested approximately $70 million in new acquisitions, adding 600,000 sq. ft. to the company’s portfolio. “We had great momentum from a strong 2013, so in 2014 we really built on that,” said Sembler CEO Ron Wheeler. “We acquired four centers in four different states, including our first entrance in the North Carolina and Texas markets.”

Sembler closed fourth quarter 2014 with new leases on 64,878 sq. ft. of space and renewed leases on 54,504 sq. ft. – bringing the year’s total to more than 700,000 sq. ft.

“From a leasing perspective, this year was significant in that all the existing anchor tenant spaces in our portfolio that were left over from the downturn, are now leased,” said Steve Althoff, Sembler’s senior VP of leasing and property management. “In fact, we’re 95% leased across the board.”

Sembler’s development business is also on the upswing, the company said, as the development team has inked deals on three ground-up, grocery-anchored centers to begin construction in 2015, two in Florida and one in Alabama. Another focus for 2015 is Town Madison, an 800,000-sq.-ft. regional shopping center within a 300-acre development that local officials called a “game-changer” for the Madison-Huntsville, Alabama market.

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