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Sembler Charts New Course Under Heard's Leadership

Sembler Charts New Course Under Heard's Leadership


We're hosting an Atlanta Retail Real Estate Summit on March 28at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead to reveal trends and figure out what tenants want. For a preview, we chatted with panelist and Sember Cos new regional head Charlie Heard. Hetells us Sembler is diving into community retail revitalization through a $40M new market tax credit fund called the Forge Fund. The fund--part of the Community Reinvestment Act--is searching the Southeast for retail redevelopment opportunities in low- to moderate-income areas. What makes it work are the tax credits that are provided, Charlie says. The fund has yet to buy its first project, but Charlie says there are offers on properties.

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As for development, Charlie says Sembler is returning to more traditional retail projects, such as grocery-anchored neighborhood centers (think Canton Marketplace). They'll do regional power centers, but will keep the local space to a minimum with traditional surface parking and visibility from main thoroughfares, Charlie says. He also says Sembler is less focused on mixed-use projects, a hallmark reputation Sembler gained under Jeff Fuqua s leadership, due to the uncertainty in the economy and lack of available credit for smaller tenants. Development for Sembler--while still focused on the Southeast--wont be widespread. We just dont have a lot of big boxes expanding right now, he says.