Renovations giving Delish owner rare time to reflect

Renovations giving Delish owner rare time to reflect

The popular Delish Cakery at University Place closed recently for renovations and to finish repairs from a water leak last winter. Aryn Keogh, who launched Delish nine years ago, sees the temporary closing as a rare opportunity “to step back and think about what we are doing,” and perhaps to invent new flavors, she said with a laugh. Keogh, who turns 30 later this summer, began Delish Cakery out of her kitchen in 2009 by selling cupcakes, French macarons, cookies and other treats in the Innovation Park office park. She opened her bakery in the Lakefront Shoppes at University Place three years ago. These days, Keogh’s custom wedding cakes and party cakes are the big draw at Delish, along with her French macarons.   Delish has fans around the world You can see photos of Keogh’s tasty creations – 490 photos so far, plus many customers’ compliments – on Delish’s Instagram page. Keogh usually posts two to four new images a day. The Instagram page has more than 1,500 followers. “I’m really popular in Charlotte,” she said, “and the second biggest group is in Jakarta (Indonesia). It’s weird, but a lot of ladies over there like me!” With time off from daily bakery demands, Keogh is working on a fresh interior design for Delish and “more modern and chic designs” for her custom cakes. Keogh said she is not sure how long the renovations and repairs will take. “I will let everyone know when we are back open and running,” she said.   Stay in touch with Delish Delish Cakery is at 9009-6 JM Keynes Drive in the Lakefront...
Former Solectron – Flextronics facility may become offices

Former Solectron – Flextronics facility may become offices

The former Solectron / Flextronics manufacturing facility near IBM Drive could become a multi-tenant office building with up to 455,000 square feet of space, a rezoning petition for adjacent property reveals. The Charlotte City Council held a hearing on the rezoning request by Westcore Properties at the City Council’s May 30 meeting. The petition filed by Westcore Properties asks that 6.2 acres on Penninger Circle, currently zoned for institutional uses, be rezoned to allow a surface parking lot. The lot would provide additional parking for Westcore’s building and 51 acres of land on Solectron Drive.   Parking lot needed for office expansion In a community meeting for the rezoning, held in March, Nick Markos of Westcore Properties said that the former manufacturing facility has 150,000 square feet of office space and about 300,000 square feet of manufacturing and research space. Markos said at the March meeting that his company plans to rehab the building and convert some or all of the manufacturing and research space to office use, depending on the needs of the new tenants. To successfully lease the additional office space, he said, the building must have additional parking. Westcore plans to add even more parking on land it already owns beside the building, Markos said.   Long history as manufacturing facility comes to an end Global electronics manufacturer Solectron build the facility in 1982, about the time that IBM opened its plant nearby. One of Solectron’s competitors, Flextronics, acquired the building when it bought Solectron in 2007. Flextronics sold the building and land to Westcore the following year, then leased space in the building. Flextronics closed...
Firenza Pizza opens June 5 at Belgate

Firenza Pizza opens June 5 at Belgate

University City’s newest restaurant, Firenza Pizza, opens June 5 near IKEA in the Belgate shopping center. The Virginia-based chain offers dough made in-house daily, nearly 40 toppings, and a 5-minute bake time in an open-flame stone-hearth oven. The new Firenza is located at 6925 University City Blvd., Suite 420, midway between I-85 and IKEA Boulevard.   Grand Opening specials During the restaurant’s grand opening June 5-10, guests who donate $2 to either EmpowHERment or Safe Alliance Charlotte-based non-profits will receive their choice of a free “signature” 10-inch pizza or a free four-topping 10-inch pizza. In addition, the first 10 people in line on Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, at the new Firenza location will get a free pizza for a year, says the restaurant’s grand-opening promotional materials on its Facebook page!   On the menu Firenza offers 10- and 14-inch pizzas including several signature pies such as the Firenza, made with classic tomato sauce, mozzarella and provolone cheeses, pepperoni, Italian sausage crumbles, artichoke hearts, red onion, a pepper medley and fresh garlic. Customers also can craft their own from their choice of nearly 40 toppings and  nine “finishes,” such as fresh basil or a buttermilk ranch drizzle. Gluten-free pizza dough is available. The restaurant also offers dinner salads, sides sand desserts.   Firenza is growing This is Firenza Pizza’s second Charlotte area location. The first opened in 2017 in the Northcrest Shopping Center near Northlake Mall. Franchise owner Emily Wagner plans to open a total of five Firenza Pizza restaurants in the Charlotte area. Firenza Pizza is in a new retail area of the Belgate Shopping Center,...
Learn more about university hotel-conference center at May 7 community meeting

Learn more about university hotel-conference center at May 7 community meeting

What do the Metropolitan at Midtown, Aloft at the EpiCentre and Ritz-Carlton in Chicago have to do with University City? Three companies that helped create or operate each are working with UNC Charlotte to build its hotel and conference center at the JW Clay Boulevard LYNX Station. Learn more at 6:30 pm May 7, at a community meeting on the project at the university’s PORTAL building.   Facility near JW Clay Blvd Station could open in 2020 The university and its foundation are moving forward on design work for the hotel and conference center, to be located on 11.4 acres at the corner of North Tryon Street and JW Clay Boulevard. Niles Sorensen, president of the UNC Charlotte Foundation, said that the university hopes to see construction start in early 2019, with completion in late summer 2020. “Once completed, the full-service UNC Charlotte-branded Marriott hotel will provide 226 rooms and a 15,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art conference center,” Chancellor Phil Dubois wrote in his monthly Fast Five Update on April 2. The Foundation recently submitted a request to rezone 4.4 acres at North Tryon Street and JW Clay Boulevard for the project. The community meeting on May 7 is a required step in the rezoning process. “We are excited the University is investing in bringing another anchor to Charlotte and University City. Their design will fully embrace our efforts to make the JW Clay a walkable urban center,” said Tobe Holmes, planning and development director for University City Partners. Enticing new details A report given to the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees in February and the site plan filed recently with the...
University City’s bike shop takes a Giant leap

University City’s bike shop takes a Giant leap

The University City bike shop formerly known as Bike Line has a new name, a new line of bikes and a fresh look. What won’t change, says founder and owner Shane Hockensmith, is the skilled staff focused on customer service, quality repairs and cycling advocacy. Shane invites the community to the Grand Reopening of Giant University City on May 4-5. Today (May 4) and Saturday, Giant University City, located next to Toby Creek Greenway and UNC Charlotte, will offer a bike repair clinic for women, a Saturday morning greenway ride, mountain-bike exhibitions by “Trail Boss” Jeff Lenosky and, of course, Grand Reopening special prices on all bikes and accessories. First up is tonight’s “Liv Women’s Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic,” 6:30-8:30 pm at the shop. Leading the workshop will be Liv Cycling ambassador Jen Audia. Details Jen will also lead Saturday morning’s no-drop Greenway Ride, starting at 9 am. Details   20-year journey from Bike Line to Giant University City Hockensmith launched Bike Line of Charlotte 20 years ago in the row of stores and offices directly behind the shop’s current location in Towne Center Plaza. A decade ago, Hockensmith relocated to the much larger current location between Rite Aid and Life Time Fitness. This latest transformation brings the world’s largest bike manufacturer to University City. The “Giant” in Giant University City is Giant Bicycles. While most bike companies outsource their production, Giant makes both its own bicycles and the materials those bicycles require. What does that mean for consumers? “Simply put, lower prices and better bikes for everyone,” Hockensmith says. Bringing in a completely new line of bikes gave...
Join us for UCity Small-Business Networking event on April 24

Join us for UCity Small-Business Networking event on April 24

Small-business leaders are invited to a breakfast networking event and brief talk on maintaining financial health, hosted by University City Partners. The monthly University City Small Business Networking event will take place 7:30-9 am April 24 at the Camino Community Center, 201 Stetson Drive. The morning will start with breakfast courtesy of UCP, informal networking and news of business developments in University City. At 8:25 am, a financial expert from Carolina Small Business will give a short presentation on “Maintaining the Financial Health of Your Business.” The program will end promptly at 9 am.   About Carolina Small Business Carolina Small Business is a statewide nonprofit founded in 1990 to help grow sustainable businesses that will make a significant economic impact in our communities. The group provides capital, business services and research to support startups and small businesses statewide. These services include one-on-one assistance and business coaching, plus educational webinars, seminars and training events conducted in partnership with universities, colleges, small businesses and other organizations. The group has offices in Charlotte at 227 W. 4th St., Suite 108. To learn more, visit carolinasmallbusiness.org or call the Charlotte office at 704-412-7031.   Event directions and questions For more information about the networking event, contact University City Partners Executive Director Darlene Heater at dheater@universitycitypartners.org. Directions: The Camino Community Center is at 201 Stetson Drive. From southbound North Tryon Street, turn right onto Stetson Drive at the Waffle House. The center is on the left. Click here for map...