Rebuilding after Plantation explosion could take more than a year

EDENS executives meet with tenants feeling impact of explosion

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

PLANTATION, Fla. - "It was cold and corporate."

That's what an entrepreneur who was at a Tuesday meeting with corporate executives who talked to the tenants of the Market on University, the strip mall damaged by a Saturday explosion in Plantation, said about the nature of the meeting.

Another tenant said several people were in tears.

"Many of the tenants are frustrated," another person at the meeting said.

Business owners said they are looking for guidance and a plan from their landlord --- EDENS, a company that owns and manages 125 properties in the United States including the Market on University.

"We didn't get any of that," a business owner said.

Customers have told some of the business owners that even when the shopping center is rebuilt, they will be too afraid to come back. EDEN executives allegedly promised daily updates.

The focus of the investigation remains the former location of PizzaFire, a restaurant at 1025 University Dr. that closed. 

Florida records show Adam Bursztein was the owner of PizzaFire. A source familiar with the restaurant said some of their employees were caught off guard when it suddenly shut in December and the owner auctioned off all of the equipment.

EDENS website listed the space as "available" for lease. A nearby tenant said someone was interested in the spot, but there wasn't any new construction.

Store owners, most of which have insurance, learned it could take 12 to 18 months for the property to be rebuilt.

As authorities continue their investigation, Cherie Jacobs, a spokeswoman for Teco People's Gas, said there were no calls for service on the company lines or complaints.

"No construction in the area, and no pipes were replaced in the area," Jacobs said.

Editorial notes: Local 10 News asked city officials if any permits or licenses had been recently applied for at 1025 University Dr. and we are waiting for a response. The identities of the sources in this story have been omitted because of fear of retribution. 


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