Church’s Fried Chicken was demolished at the Wornall Village Shopping Center, the start of a $6 million revitalization. Photo by Bill Rankin

The Revitalization of 85th & Wornall begins! 

By Kathy Feist

It’s been three years since Church’s Chicken closed at the Wornall Village Shopping Center at  85th and Wornall. On September 9, the abandoned restaurant was demolished. Thus begins the much anticipated revitalization of 85th & Wornall. 

“For the next 30 days we will begin the improvements for the center,” says Greg Hoefer, executive vice president of real estate for the Tutera Group, which owns the property. In addition to Church’s, two houses on the northwest corner of the development were demolished  to create more green space and add a buffer between the commercial property and the residential. 

The former Church’s Fried Chicken had closed in 2016. Photo Google Earth.

Further plans include landscaped islands, wider entrances, new sidewalks, repaved parking lot, and stone veneer and stucco on the exterior walls of the shopping strip. The Price Chopper dock which is currently on the east side of the building will be rebuilt on the west side. A new 2000 square foot building will replace the Church’s old site. Plans also include a freestanding building at the former Dairy Queen site. (The newly closed and white washed KFC building is not a part of this plan.)

The Piano Room will remain open during construction. But Chinese Express has chosen to close and will reopen after construction. The remaining spaces are vacant.

Tutera reportedly will invest $4 million into the exterior development of the center. Balls Food Stores, which owns the Price chopper on the premises, will invest $2 million on improvements inside the grocery story. Those plans include a drive-thru pharmacy and additional space. 

The property was approved in December as a Community Improvement District (CID). A CID allows for a 1 percent sales tax for eligible purchases made in the district. which will go toward ongoing upkeep of the strip center. 

Hoefer expects the renovation to be completed by late Spring. 

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