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Pieology Pizzeria will open its first two area locations by midyear. It sells custom-made pizzas and salads.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Mar. 16, 201612:00 PM EST

Pieology Pizzeria plans to open 12 area pizzerias

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Pieology Pizzeria franchisee Ted Cheng plans to open 12 build-you-own-pie restaurants in the Jacksonville area within five to seven years.

Cheng is the authorized member of Kingdom Pies LLC, the franchise owner for California-based Pieology in a territory that covers all of Northern Florida, including the Panhandle, and the state of Arkansas.

Cheng said each location hires 30 to 35 employees, indicating a potential Northeast Florida workforce of 360 to 420 people among the seven-county area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns.

He said the average investment per site is $600,000, which translates into a potential area investment of $7.2 million.

“The region is experiencing solid growth and we think it is a great time to introduce this fast-adopting concept here,” he said.

The first two Pieology Pizzerias are scheduled to open by midyear. Cheng said tentative dates are mid-April for the restaurant at Nocatee Town Center and late June for St. Johns Town Center, earlier than the Aug. 1 date on the center’s website.

Cheng, of Tustin, Calif., said many members of his team have deep roots in Jacksonville, “where they have grown up, live in and do business.”

He said three members of the team live in Jacksonville, including Kelly Harris, who is the primary operator overseeing the Florida territory. He has experience with Firehouse Subs, Times Grill and Village Bread.

Cheng said he intends to move to Jacksonville this year.

Geneva Henderson, executive vice president of Lat Purser & Associates Inc., is Pieology’s tenant representative in Northeast Florida.

At the Town Center, Pieology will lease space at 4624 Town Crossing Drive for an 85-seat restaurant. A building permit application shows it will be 2,745 square feet.

The Nocatee Town Center site is shown on Pieology.com at 641 Crosswater Parkway in Nocatee. That 2,550-square-foot location will have 75 seats.

Pieology, founded in 2011, is based in Rancho Margarita, Calif. It offers custom pizzas baked in an open-flame oven in less than three minutes. It also offers custom salads.

Its tagline is “The Study of Custom Pizza.”

It gained new investors, along with expansion plans, early this year when it was announced Panda Express founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng bought a minority stake in it. Pieology founder Carl Chang told LATimes.com that Pieology intends to expand from almost 100 locations to more than 200 by the end of 2016. Pieology has 85 locations open in 14 states now.

Cheng said 29 restaurants are planned in Florida and 13 in Arkansas.

Cheng said Pieology also is a charitable member of the communities it serves and is identifying and speaking with local charities and schools.

Pieology intends to offer beer and wine, but they might not be available at the time the restaurants open.

Chicken Salad Chick building-out in Galleria

Chicken Salad Chick is the next tenant in line to build-out at Galleria Marketplace in the Southpoint area.

The city is reviewing a permit for Dakenna Development Inc. to renovate 2,550 square feet of space for Chicken Salad Chick at a project cost of $175,000.

Galleria Marketplace, at 6025 Butler Point Road, also will be the site of a Smoothie King, whose building plans also are in review, and for Kazu Sushi Burrito.

All three should open by late summer or early fall.

Galleria Marketplace is under development by brothers Louis and Paul Sleiman.

Another 3,900 square feet of space is available for lease.

Chicken Salad Chick, which focuses on varieties of its namesake food, has restaurants in Baymeadows and at St. Johns Town Center.

The local owners are the Wishbone Group Inc. Chicken Salad Chick, based in Auburn, Ala., announced in February 2015 that the group would open six locations in Jacksonville.

Target renovating at Town Center

Target’s store at St. Johns Town Center is in line for a store reconfiguration called the “2016 innovation rollout” on building plans.

The project includes new self-checkouts and renovations to the Starbucks and electronics and home departments, according to plans.

No contractor is listed for the $168,757 project at 4567 River City Drive.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. owns the almost 124,000-square-foot store on almost 11 acres. It was built in 2005 for the opening of the Town Center.

Spokeswoman Kristy Welker said Target continually assesses the condition of its stores and the department updates needed to improve customer experiences.

Meanwhile, Welker said the pharmacy will convert to a CVS Pharmacy on April 11. The remaining area Target pharmacies will change from April 4-20.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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