Bellmore-Merrick business owner still waiting to rebuild a year after Sandy

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When she realized that it was indeed her mortgage company calling, she felt obliged to respond to its requests for information about her progress in obtaining an insurance settlement. When her settlement –– more than a half-million dollars –– finally came through, she immediately sent the check to the mortgage company and waited for preliminary funds to be disbursed, she said. Salcedo never heard back. Weeks passed. Then a letter arrived, informing her that her settlement had been applied to the principal.

“This is insane,” Salcedo said.

Now she is working with an attorney, Abraham Kreiger of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein P.C., and asking State Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr. to help her recover her insurance settlement. “We’re trying to figure out how we’re going to fight back,” she said.

Dealing with her insurance company became a full-time job for Salcedo. When her settlement came through, her hopes rose. Seeing it applied to the principal was devastating. “I never expected this to happen,” she said.

The Herald first profiled the Dakota Design Center’s plight in a story titled “First a flood, then a fire” (Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2012). In six hours last Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy flooded the center, which housed Salcedo’s design firm, P.S. Micaza Interiors. Then a fire, most likely electrical, gutted the building’s interior.

In addition to housing P.S. Micaza, the design center served as a one-stop shopping center for high-end furnishings. Salcedo moved it to Republic Lighting, in Bellmore, after Sandy, where it remains in a 3,000-square-foot space.

When the Herald interviewed Salcedo last year, she was overseeing construction at Republic Lighting, which is owned by Rich Adler, a friend of hers. It was virtually empty then, with 2x4s, drywall and electrical wiring scattered about. Now the space is full of furnishings, fabric samples, granite blocks and paintings.

P.S. Micaza carries on, Salcedo said, adding that she will not feel whole again, however, until she is back in the Dakota Design Center. She works side by side with her events and marketing coordinator, Randi Satnick, of Merrick, and designers Danielle Guagliano, of Mastic, and Marily Hernandez, of Valley Stream.

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