Tampa architect Francisco Semsch (l) accepted the Council-Manager award from Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis (r) on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
Chances are if you’ve visited, read about or lived in Oldsmar over the last 10-15 years, you’re familiar with Francisco Semsch’s work.
But it’s okay if you didn’t realize it.
The soft-spoken, Tampa based architect isn’t one to toot his own horn regarding the many local projects he’s worked on through his firm, FSA, Inc., in the city, which include the Galleria, the most recent downtown development concept and the much-discussed Rays stadium proposal.
Earlier this week, Oldsmar officials recognized Semsch for his contributions to the city, as Mayor Doug Bevis presented him with the Council-Manager Award during the council meeting on Tuesday, April 18.
“Four years ago when we started talking about this, when you said something about a stadium in Oldsmar, they would just kid of laugh at you and say, ‘Oldsmar?!’,” Bevis said of the city’s stadium proposal, which Semsch’s firm created for the city gratis.
Conceptual renderings of Oldsmar’s proposed Rays stadium and mixed-used development were created by Tampa architect Francisco Semsch through his firm, FSA, Inc.
“But through your pictures and your renderings and your vision, it allowed us to show that Oldsmar is not the Oldsmar of old, its no the ‘old’ Oldsmar, it’s the new Oldsmar.”
“And so I just want to thank you, on behalf of the City Council, and the City manager, for all the efforts that you did, because, although you don’t live here, you have a passion for our city, and I want to thank you for that.”
After the intro, the El Salvador native accepted the award with his typical low-key humility.
Francisco Semsch explains his downtown development project to Oldsmar officials on Jan. 11, 2017.
“We’ve been dealing with the City of Oldsmar since 2004…and it’s a very familiar type of environment, very personal, and you don’t get that in many cities, counties or official entities,” Semsch, who has worked on private, state and federal projects during his three-plus decades in the industry, said.
“That’s why we’re still around.”
“All the different people that have been involved…are very serious about wanting the best for the City of Oldsmar, and that really resonates with me as a person and a professional,” he added.
“I want to work with people who want the best for their communities. So, I’m enjoying these potential projects that will create a very, very serious positive impact for the community.”
Following the meeting, in which the council basically put to bed the idea of the Rays coming to town, the mayor spoke about Semsch’s impact on the city.
“He’s been great, really great,” Bevis said.
Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis (r) and Tampa architect Francisco Semsch presented their plans to bring the Tampa Bay Rays to Oldsmar on October 20, 2016.
“With all the work he’s done and through the relationships with the team he helped put together, he’s been a strong advocate for the city’s success. He’s always been in lock-step with what we envision for the city.”
Semsch also spoke about the honor.
“It feels great,” he said. “Receiving an award like this is food for your personal soul and for the professional soul.”
“I’m really appreciative of the consistency of all the major players in the city, (City Manager) Bruce (Haddock), (Planning and Development Director) Marie (Dauphinais), the council,” Semsch added.
“Those components have always be there to help form this solid foundation.”