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- 2012 - September - 27th -

Westsiders: Krispy Kreme returning to Cassat Ave. site

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. intends to rebuild at its 810 Cassat Ave. location, which the North Carolina-based chain closed in 2005 to the dismay of many Westside customers after 35 years in business.

Development site plans filed with the City show a 2,300-square-foot Krispy Kreme with a drive-thru lane.

“The proposed site will include the demolition of the existing building and parking spaces and construction of a new Krispy Kreme building and (a) new drive-thru lane,” according to the site plans.

Krispy Kreme, a 75-year-old company, has two other stores in Jacksonville, at 12973 Atlantic Blvd. and 11117 San Jose Blvd., which is being remodeled.

Another City document shows that the existing Cassat Avenue site that will be demolished is a 4,508-square-foot building. It’s at Cassat and College Street, near Interstate 10.

“The existing parcel is an existing abandoned Krispy Kreme building and associated parking,” according to the plans.

One fan of the location started an online petition asking for signatures from supporters who want to “Open the Krispy Kreme on Cassatt Ave Again!!”

Krispy Kreme is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., and its signature is the Original Glazed – and that’s a registered trademark – doughnut.

Established in 1937, Krispy Kreme has about 711 locations around the world as well as a presence in grocery, convenience and mass merchandise stores. Its website is KrispyKreme.com.

The website shows a Charlotte, N.C., store opened Monday and three more – in Rock Hill and Anderson, S.C., and in Knoxville, Tenn. — will open next.

A Florida Times-Union report on Dec. 14, 2005, said Krispy Kreme closed two of its four area stores – the Cassat Avenue location and one in Orange Park. The Orange Park location closed after 10 years, the newspaper reported.

Property records show the Cassat Avenue building was constructed in 1970. Krispy Kreme owns the property, which is a little less than half an acre.

There’s no opening date yet, but patrons, prepare. The Charlotte opening offered a free dozen of the glazed doughnuts every week for a year to the first customer in line. The second through 99th customers received a free dozen each month for a year.

There also were T-shirts for the first 100 customers.

More retailers on the way

• GNC Live Well plans to open in Riverside. The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based chain, which stands for General Nutrition Center, is the tenant listed for a 1,353-square-foot store at 2025 Riverside Ave., No. 203. It’s a $32,000 build-out.

• Property changed hands for development of a Family Dollar store at 2174 Edgewood Ave.

• Petland will be posting its name at its first Jacksonville store at 13740 Beach Blvd., No. 415. Two wall signs were permitted at a project cost of $2,000. River City Sign Co. will put them up.

• Look for Little Caesars at 2261 Edgewood Ave. W., No. 6A. Heritage Signs is putting up the wall sign at a cost of $1,606.

• The Dunkin’ Donuts at the former Lubi’s restaurant at 3930 Sunbeam Road wants permission for outside seating. A zoning request filed with the City seeks an exception for outside seating for customers.

Metropolitan Lofts adding fitness center, café

Plans are in progress for a fitness center and cybercafé at The Metropolitan Loft Apartments in Downtown.

The apartment building at 421 W. Church St. is slated for a 4,000-square-foot fitness center and a café area on the first floor. Build-out is shown as $100,000. Group 4 Design Inc. is the architect.

The eight-story structure was built in 1959, according to property records. The 116-unit structure formerly was an office building.

Tile Shop headed to Southside

A national tile retailer is closer to a Southside store, which appears to be its first in Florida.

The City approved the construction permit Tuesday for The Tile Shop build-out at 9375 Philips Highway. Plans show The Tile Shop will occupy about 24,000 square feet of sales and warehouse space at the Avenues North Center at Philips Highway and Shad Road.

Premiere Structures Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn., is listed as the contractor for the $370,000 project.

The Tile Shop is based in Plymouth, Minn., near Minneapolis, and operated at least 61 stores in 20 states as of May 31, but none in Florida. The Jacksonville location is shown as store No. 67. The company plans to have 100 stores throughout the United States, but did not specify a timetable.

Plans show the contractor will remodel existing retail tenant space for The Tile Shop, described on plans as a retail store that sells all types of tile, such as ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass and other products.

Its website said it also sells setting and maintenance materials and related accessories and that its average store is 23,000 square feet in size.

The Tile Shop announced Aug. 21 that Tile Shop Holdings Inc. and JWC Acquisition Corp. completed a business combination and began trading its common stock on Nasdaq on Aug. 22 under the ticker symbol TTS.

The website says the company began in 1985 with its first store in Rochester, Minn., for the do-it-yourself market. It described itself as “the independent, boutique alternative to big box retailers.”

The company expanded in 1992 outside of Minnesota as the do-it-yourself market grew. It expanded throughout the Midwest to the East Coast and acquired a distribution center in Michigan that consists of seven buildings on 36 acres where the company makes and stores its proprietary line of adhesives, chemicals and other tiling materials.

“Today, despite recent downturns in the economy, The Tile Shop continues to succeed where others have failed,” the website says.

Restaurant industry begins rebound

RestaurantNews.com reported the CHD Expert food-service database, marketing and analysis service found an increase of more than 9,400 restaurants around the U.S. in the first half of the year.

CHD Expert’s 2012 “Year-To-Date Net Market Changes Report” said 10 states saw the largest percentage of positive net change in the restaurant industry from January to June: West Virginia, New York, Connecticut, California, Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas and North Dakota.

West Virginia and New York took the lead, at 3.6 percent and 2.6 percent positive net change respectively, while Kansas and North Dakota rounded out the top 10, both at a 1.2 percent net change.

It reported that restaurants with menus catering to traditional American fare, Mexican, and bar and grill menus showed the largest increases. Fine dining and upscale establishment growth remained flat, although that is encouraging compared to the past few years of decline in the segment.

The fast-casual market also continued to grow at a steady rate because consumers were upgrading from quick-service restaurants, it said.

“These time-crunched consumers are still looking for a fast-food alternative, but with a more upscale twist, diverse menu selection and perceived healthier food options,” said the report.

The report indicated that the overall food-service market was beginning to recover and show signs of small, incremental growth.

“This indicates that consumers are starting to have more confidence in the economy as they are beginning to dine out and spend money more frequently after long periods of stagnation,” it said.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

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