South KC Perspective
Red Bridge Shopping Center Announcement Draws Hundreds
By John Sharp
The approximately 300 people who attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of Red Bridge Shopping Center May 20 learned that Euston Hardware, Sofi Cucina Italiana Restaurant and Blue Bicycle Fitness Center are among the center’s new tenants.
The renovated center plans a grand opening in October, said Owen Buckley, president of Lane4 Property Group, the owner and developer of the center.
“It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to be safe. It’s going to be clean. It’s going to be well-lighted,” Buckley said.
Buckley stressed the renovation will add extensive new landscaping to the property, new building facades and two large tower features to the buildings.
In an interview after the ceremony, Buckley stressed that the combination of strong schools and neighborhoods, nearby major employers and close proximity to I-435 make the shopping center an ideal location for retail services.
“If you draw a three-mile radius around the center,” Buckley said, “there’s barely any competing retail services.”
Numerous speakers at the ceremony, including me, noted how unusual it is to have a large crowd of neighbors at groundbreakings.
Noting, “You normally don’t see crowds like this,” City Councilman Scott Taylor told the crowd, “Without your strong support this may not have happened.”
“This is a community driven development,” said Councilman Kevin McManus.
“We continue to be amazed by the support at these events, which shows the demand for retail services in this neighborhood,” Buckley said in his interview. “This clearly is a neighborhood that will patronize retailers and restaurants that deliver the experience, products and services people desire.”
The new tenants announced at the groundbreaking are Euston Hardware, Sofi Cucina Italiana Restaurant, and Blue Bicycle Fitness Center.
Buckley said additional tenant announcements are expected in the near future.
Martin City CID Names Future Priorities
Securing funding to complete the improvements to 135th Street from Wornall Road west to 150 Highway and designing improvements to Holmes Road are among the priorities for the city’s next fiscal year that were announced at a city appreciation breakfast hosted by the Martin City Community Improvement District (CID) on May 19 at RC’s Restaurant & Lounge.
Missy Wilson, CID Manager, said the CID also wants to attract development to empty parcels of real estate and develop a retail non-compete agreement with the city of Leawood.
CID Board President Debbie Van Noy said the CID also needs to help find a new use for the vacant Sutherlands property on the southwest corner of Holmes Road and 135th Street.
Both Councilman Scott Taylor and City Manager Troy Schulte said at the breakfast that the city is considering placing a bond issue on the ballot for voter approval, perhaps in the spring of 2017, to finance major infrastructure projects throughout the city which could include the Martin City projects.
Taylor said the city has to complete the 135th Street improvements. He noted he plans to invite his Council colleagues to come to Martin City to see for themselves the importance of finishing the work.
Councilman Kevin McManus said the on-going improvements to 135th Street wouldn’t have gotten done without the public-private partnership between the city and the CID.
Noting the need for more funding for infrastructure improvements, he said, “Unlike some parts of the city, our problems aren’t the lack of maintenance of infrastructure. We don’t have the infrastructure! We don’t have curbs. We don’t have sidewalks.”
He noted these improvements provide needed access to help both businesses and neighborhoods thrive.
Alvin Brooks and Others Get Awards
Former Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem and City Councilman Alvin Brooks and longtime community leaders Carol McClure and Ann O’Hare were among those honored by the South Kansas City Alliance (SKCA) at an awards breakfast on May 24 at Avila University.
Brooks, the founder of the AdHoc Group Against Crime and former president and current member of the Board of Police Commissioners, received the Lifetime Service Award.
McClure, co-chair of the Southern Communities Coalition, received the Judy Swope Good Neighbor Award which is named for a former city councilwoman and neighborhood leader.
O’Hare, co-director of the Trailside Center and president of the Historical Society of New Santa Fe, received the Outstanding Community Service Award along with the United Services Community Action Agency.
The Outstanding Neighborhood Organization Award went to the Marlborough Community Coalition.
Morgan Miller Plumbing and Kissick Construction both received Good Corporate Citizenship Awards.
Outstanding Public Safety Service Awards went to the family of deceased fire fighter John Mesh who died in the line of duty and Kansas City Police Department Sergeant Corey Carlisle.
Kansas City codes inspector Brandi Champ and Kansas City parks planner Richard Allen received Outstanding Government Service Awards.
Outstanding Educational Achievement Program Awards were given to the Compass Program at Burke Elementary School in the Hickman Mills School District and to the Triple A Program at Hartman Elementary School in the Kansas City School District.
I chaired the SKCA Awards Committee, and it was very difficult to pick award winners because so many persons and organizations have done so much to improve our community for so long. This recognition was long overdue.
Stacey Johnson-Cosby, SKCA president, said properly recognizing neighborhood and community leaders, outstanding government employees and good corporate citizens will be an annual SKCA event.
Cerner to Announce Housing and Retail Needs at Event
The results of a survey of Cerner Corporation employees on what types of retail services and housing options they want near the Cerner office development now under construction adjacent to the former Bannister Mall site will be presented Tuesday, June 14.
Retailers, home builders, developers, Realtors and other business and community leaders are invited to the event hosted by the South Kansas City Alliance (SKCA) from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Canaan Worship Center, 5333 East Bannister Road. A complimentary continental breakfast will be served.
“This survey provides a gold mine of information about exactly what kinds of retail services and what types of housing Cerner employees desire,” said Stacey Johnson-Cosby, SKCA president.
The survey was conducted by the SKCA with the full cooperation of Cerner Corporation, in partnership with the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the City Planning & Development Department, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, the Southtown Council and the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors.
Persons interested in attending are requested to register on the SKCA website www.SouthKCAlliance.org.
Town Hall Meeting June 4
State Representative DaRon McGee and Councilman Scott Taylor are hosting a south Kansas City town hall meeting from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Mid-Continent Library at the Red Bridge Shopping Center.
The city’s 3-1-1 mobile van will be in the library parking lot for persons with problems, questions or suggestions about city services.
Rachel Davis, homeownership outreach coordinator for the Missouri Housing Development Commission, will join McGee and Taylor in speaking at the event.
A complimentary breakfast will be served.
John Sharp is the former city councilman for the 6th District of Kansas City, MO.