Cover Photo: With underground utility and foundation work now complete, the structural steel framework is now being constructed for the new Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City being built on the northwestern portion of the Red Bridge Shopping Center site. Photo by Bill Rankin
Spring is right around the corner. Here’s what’s growing in south KC
By Telegraph Staff
The frozen ground is beginning to thaw. The days are getting longer. That can only mean one thing: Spring has sprung and so have new businesses, construction and developments in south Kansas City. Here’s a look at what’s popping up.
Red Bridge Area
Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City – The walls have started coming up at the future site of Wonderscope Children’s Museum, 433 E Red Bridge Rd. A topping off celebration, when the last beam is placed atop the structure, is planned for the middle of April, according to Executive Director Roxanne Hill. The museum is expected to relocate from its Shawnee, KS, location to the new 30,000-square-foot museum in October. The capital campaign is $1 million from its $15 million goal.
Goppert Theater, Avila University – The Goppert Theatre at Avila University, 119th & Wornall, was built in 1974 and named after Vita Goppert, a 1972 Avila Graduate. In 2016 the estate of Vita Goppert made a generous $3.5 million donation which kicked off the $7 million capital campaign for its expansion.The addition to the Goppert Theatre will provide a larger lobby, increased rehearsal space, an expanded 200-seat black box theater, and a new stage shop for stage design production. A completion date is expected sometime in July.
Peter’s Clothiers– The Arvanitakis brothers purchased the partially vacant shopping strip at 123rd and State Line for its men’s clothing store and to build a mail order and distribution facility for their Byron line of clothing, currently located in Merriam. Plans include extending the shopping center by 1000 sq. ft. on the south end and reconstructing the façade with a two-story corner tower. About 30,000 sq. ft. will be added on the east end for the distribution facility. (Byron apparel is shipped to some 150 men’s stores throughout the nation.) The two tenants at the strip, Jovito’s and Papa John’s, will remain, according to owner George Arvanitakis. Retaining walls and footings are being placed now, with construction going vertical in March. A completion date is expected for late summer or early fall.
Jack Stack Barbecue – Jack Stack reopened its Martin City establishment at 135th & Holmes on March 9 after a two-week closure to update the kitchen. The kitchen, formerly on the northwest side of the restaurant, will now be on the south side where the a parking lot once stood. The state-of-the-art kitchen will be larger and include a new rotisserie smoker in addition to its brick oven pit. Major construction on the 45-year-old establishment will continue until June, according to Jack Stack President Travis Carpenter. When completed it will have a full-service bar, a new entry, patio and carry-out location. The decor will be refreshed, but retain its living room-like atmosphere.
Ramsey’s Burger’s – Formerly named The Burger Joint, the drive-thru at 130th & Holmes, has changed its name to Ramsey’s Burgers. The 1,350 sq. ft. restaurant will serve beef and vegan burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, milk shakes and soft serve ice cream. Ramsey’s shares the same owners as Martin City Coffee: Penny Romero and Rick Ramsey. A soft opening is planned for the late April.
El Maguey– El Maguey, a local family-owned chain of Mexican food restaurants, is moving into Martin City in the space formerly occupied by the Pizza Shoppe, 13612 Washington Ave. (near Firestone and the Martin City Telegraph). Frances Jaime, a relative to the family franchise, purchased the 3000 sq ft space and plans to include covered outdoor seating. This is his third El Maguey restaurant.
Southern Kitchen – Moving into the former 2,800 sq ft Empanada Madness space at 13135 State Line is Southern Kitchen. The New Orleans native owners Robin and Mark Drouin have been successfully running a food truck business in KC called Cajun Cabin for the past 10 years. The menu will have the same offerings: gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya as well as fried chicken, shrimp, po-boys, beignets and bread pudding with butter rum sauce. They plan to carry Martin City Brewery beer and other alcoholic beverages. Look for a late April opening.
Luther’s – Rumors are swirling regarding the recent closing of Luther’s BBQ, formerly Murray’s, at 130th & State Line. But at presstime, owner Pat Murray is not in a position to disclose the new owner.
Forest Ridge Villas – Over 10 acres along Charlotte St., immediately east of Jack Stack BBQ in Martin City, will be the site for the 195-unit apartment complex overlooking scenic Jackson County parkland. The apartments will be leased at market rate and will include walking trails, a pool and possible dog park. Grading plans are being submitted to the City for approval. Construction should begin this summer, according to developer Jeff Ellis.
135th & Holmes Apartments – Christie Development Associates has plans for a $36 million apartment complex with three retail/restaurant spaces at the southeast corner of 135th & Holmes Rd. The complex, which is yet unnamed, will consist of 200 apartment units housed in eight 3-story buildings on the 20 acre lot. Developers are still working with the City on abatements and drawing grading plans. Martin City Paintball has closed. David Christie, owner, expects full approval by June.
The Madison – The Madison, a $34 million senior living complex being built on 10 acres off 150 Hwy and Wyandotte, will feature 90 independent living apartments, 44 assisted living apartments and 16 memory care rooms. The Madison will be moderately priced. A sales office trailer has been set up on the site. Developer Patrick O’Reilly says he plans to have the first resident move in by the end of June.
State Line -Leawood
Tomahawk Creek Treatment Plant– Construction at the Tomahawk Creek Treatment Plant near I-435 and Mission in Leawood is a result of new state permit water regulations required by Johnson County. The $335 million improvement will benefit 150,000 residents living in parts of Leawood, Prairie Village, Overland Park, and Olathe. Currently, the facility treats about seven million gallons per day, about 40 percent of the flow. The county contracts with Kansas City to treat the remaining 60 percent. When the improvements are completed, the plant will treat 100 percent of the flow, saving the county about $16 million per year. It will also save Johnson County customers on their sewer bills, and provide cleaner water running through Indian Creek. Sewer odors are also expected to improve. The project is set to be mostly completed in April of 2021, and final completion by October 2021.
Elite Physical Therapy – Elite Physical Therapy in Leawood has begun construction on the west half of their newly constructed building at 12728 State Line Rd. Originally, they had hoped to rent the west side space to other businesses, but have now opted to expand their rehab capabilities by installing green turf for those who need to rehab on grass, such as athletes. They hope to complete the 3,000 sq ft space before the official ribbon cutting ceremony, which will be held on April 23rd.
Barstow School – Barstow School is adapting the former HyVee supermarket, 121st and State Line Rd, into a 62,680 square foot learning environment.The building will be called IDEA*Space (Innovation, discovery, entrepreneurship and arts). The facility will have a series of workshop-style areas where students of all ages can transform their ideas into reality, an e-sports facility, a blackbox theater, an early education center and multi-purpose indoor courts for community volleyball, pickleball, soccer and yoga. Interior work continues. It was expected to open the end of 2020 but at press time the date could not be confirmed.
Cerner Innovations Campus – Phases 3 and 4 are currently under construction next to phases 1 and 2 on the site where Bannister Mall once stood. Tower 3 will stand 11 stories and is expected to be completed this summer. Tower 4 will be eight stories and will be completed in March. Retail development at the site is actively moving forward, with Hampton Inn recently announcing their plans to start construction and a new Taco Bell has built at Hillcrest & Red Bridge rds. According to a spokesperson there, additional projects that will benefit the surrounding community are in the works.
Bannister Federal Complex – North Point Development Center has purchased the 220-acre site with plans to invest $135 million into dveloping an industrial park. It will feature about two and a half million sq ft of light manufacturing and warehouse and distribution facilities. The property has been renamed the Blue River Commerce Center, located off Bannister and Troost.
Burns & McDonnell – Burns & McDonnell’s world headquarters at 9450 Ward Pkwy. is in the process of completing an adjoining office building on its west end. The new building will contain 780 office seats, 42 conference rooms and two large training rooms. Its completion date is this summer.
85th & Wornall
Wornall Village Shopping Center- Tutera Group is investing $4 for improvements to the shopping center located on the northwest corner of 85th & Wornall. Anchor tenant Price Chopper intends to spend $2 million to expand their location into a vacant shop immediately to their north, allowing them to expand their liquor department and offer a drive-through pharmacy. A one-way drive will be added to the back of the property, providing easier access to delivery trucks. The former Church’s has been demolished and a new facade is being added to the shopping strip, starting at the north end. A structuring for storm water deterant is being added behind the building.
Ward Parkway Center – Torchy’s Tacos hopes to hire 125 people by the time it opens on April 1 in the space previously occupied by MidiCi the Neapolitan Pizza Co. Job seekers can apply in person at the Ward Parkway Center from Monday-Saturday at a temporary office next to Footlocker, or see torchystacos.com/careers. Five Guys Burgers & Fries has opened after being closed for remodeling. The Kansas City FilmFest is relocating from the Country Club Plaza to the AMC Ward Parkway Theatres. The event, the longest running and largest film festival in the metro area, was to appear April 15-19 but has been postponed due to the coronavirus. See kcfilmfest.org.
Waldo Antiques – Soon the space east of 75th and Wornall that has for decades been the site for antique dealers will be demolished to make room for a 35,000 sq ft. four-story building. The Waldo Ice House already has a contract with a local optometrist who will occupy the commercial space on the first floor. Three floors above that will include 44 apartments, including studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Demolition of the former antique shops will begin in March. The projected completion date for the complex is Spring 2021.
7701 State Line Rd. – A Chase Bank is being constructed at 7701 State Line Rd, the second of 20 branch banks to open in the Kansas City area. The bank will feature an open design with no tellers and isntead will have ATMs for day-to-day banking. Associate bankers will be available to help clients learn about the technology. It will also offer a digital-access bar, allowing people to relax, enjoy free Wi-Fi and work online.
South of Summit Taqueria & Tequila – The taqueria opened in mid-February at 516 W. 75th St. The restaurant is adjacent to Summit Grill and features corn and flour tortillas made on-site and by hand. The bar offers a selection of sipping tequilas, six different margaritas and a variety of canned Mexican beers.
Soap Refill Station – Customers visiting 7441 Broadway are encouraged to bring their own containers to refill with nationally known and housemade brands of eco-friendly cleaning, household and bath products. New bottles and jars also can be purchased at the store. Shoppers are welcome to customize their soap with essential oils or mix products together to boost cleaning power or add a favorite scent.
Grandview Gateway Shopping Center – Passersby coming off 71 Hwy onto Blue Ridge Blvd probably have noticed construction on the Grandview Gateway shopping strip, 11902 Blue Ridge Blvd Extension. Improvements to the site have included facade and signage upgrade. A new 3000 sq ft Community America Credit Union is being built on the property and is projected to be completed in May.
The Chive Cafe/Market and Transparent Brewery – The 4200 sq ft cafe/brewery is being built on a 3.5 acre lot across White Avenue from Gail’s Harley Davidson. The facility can seat 50 customers inside and 50 outside on the patio. The outdoor space will feature corn hole, bocce ball courts and a small dog park. The Chive, Simply Good will be a dine-in cafe and a to-go market focused on farm to table food utilizing as many locally sourced products as possible throughout the year. Transparent Brewing Company will be a microbrewery focusing on lower ABV beers with an intent to have 90% of what is brewed be under 7%ABV. Completion date is expected early June.
Celebrate Dental and Braces – The dentist/orthodontist office is now open at 12414 71 Hiwy. on the frontage road. They offer full service dentistry with flexible payment plans.
Panda Express – A new Panda Express will be built at 12016 S US 71 Hwy in the Truman’s Marketplace.