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Old 10-16-2011, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,204,472 times
Reputation: 2549

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I visited the Legends/Village West today in western Kansas City, KS, and man, that place is busy! Judging by the traffic and amount of people at the stores and restaurants out there, you wouldn't think we have any economic problems in this country. I ate a late lunch at Arthur Bryant's and it was relatively desolate as has been mentioned before, while other restaurants appeared much busier. The food was great, despite the location. I love the runny, vinegary sauce. It's been a long time since I had eaten there.

I specifically made a trip out there to visit the new Saks Off 5th outlet store, as well as the Ralph Lauren and JCrew outlets, and wasn't too impressed with Off 5th. I'm realizing my taste in clothing runs more classic, timeless, and traditional preppy and it seems like Off 5th is catering to the trendier, more modern crowd.

Anyway, it's just amazing how busy it is out there. Lots of out of state tags. It is clearly thriving from folks driving in from long distances, and is predominantly a destination-type development, even moreso than I had prior realized. Which brings me to my point....

I really wish as much of this development as possible could have been downtown. Actually, it could have been, being primarily a destination-type development, and it should have been. When I was out there amongst it all, I couldn't help but envision Grand BLVD downtown hosting all of the shopping and what would be thriving street life. Amazing. That's something that would have really gotten the attention of your typical, average young person regarding the option of urban living and exposure to the city.

Imagine a large, easy-to-use parking garage on Grand between 11th and 12th, with a Macy's and Target at opposite corners of the base. I say Macy's because it is a very middle-of-the-road department store and appeals to everybody. The parking garage could even be called "Shoppers Parkade", which was the name of the former structure there recently torn down. And imagine small, store-front infill buildings where possible as well as all of the store fronts along Grand filled with the stores of the Legends. Even if it the place still used the outlet-designation, which is good because they are more of a draw, this would have been amazing. Perhaps the Plaza could have shifted to a more upscale and local neighborhood focus and downtown would only compliment it.

Obviously, the speedway couldn't be downtown, but it could have probably been in the 635 and State Ave area, using the land Indian Springs mall is on now as well as other surrounding vacant and underutilized land. As could have been Schlitterbahn and Great Wolf Lodge.

The T-bones ballpark, Sporting KC stadium, and Cerner offices could have been in downtown KCK, instantly turning it around.
Quite frankly, I believe Cabela's (or Bass Pro for that matter) could have been in the west bottoms along the Kansas River, as could have been Nebraska Furniture Mart. Council Bluffs riverbottom land is developed opposite the river of downtown Omaha, so why couldn't ours be?

Think of the greater downtown area (including downtown KCK) if this were to have all happened the way I describe above. It would have enthrived and UNIFIED the entire area and perhaps created a new "Greater Downtown Area". KCK could have even implemented rail at a practical cost from downtown to 635 and State, being so much closer in. KCK could have even been part of a rail spine going from UMKC/the Plaza to the hypothetical speedway location.

All of this COULD have happened and really changed and unified both Kansas City's! The saddest part is I almost think Barnes and Marinovich as a team could have done this.

I'm starting to better understand a certain other member of this forum's resentment toward the island of development way out west.

~MoKan
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:58 AM
 
210 posts, read 348,938 times
Reputation: 117
It will be a ghost town in two decades.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,516,721 times
Reputation: 5415
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
I visited the Legends/Village West today in western Kansas City, KS, and man, that place is busy! Judging by the traffic and amount of people at the stores and restaurants out there, you wouldn't think we have any economic problems in this country. I ate a late lunch at Arthur Bryant's and it was relatively desolate as has been mentioned before, while other restaurants appeared much busier. The food was great, despite the location. I love the runny, vinegary sauce. It's been a long time since I had eaten there.

I specifically made a trip out there to visit the new Saks Off 5th outlet store, as well as the Ralph Lauren and JCrew outlets, and wasn't too impressed with Off 5th. I'm realizing my taste in clothing runs more classic, timeless, and traditional preppy and it seems like Off 5th is catering to the trendier, more modern crowd.

Anyway, it's just amazing how busy it is out there. Lots of out of state tags. It is clearly thriving from folks driving in from long distances, and is predominantly a destination-type development, even moreso than I had prior realized. Which brings me to my point....

I really wish as much of this development as possible could have been downtown. Actually, it could have been, being primarily a destination-type development, and it should have been. When I was out there amongst it all, I couldn't help but envision Grand BLVD downtown hosting all of the shopping and what would be thriving street life. Amazing. That's something that would have really gotten the attention of your typical, average young person regarding the option of urban living and exposure to the city.

Imagine a large, easy-to-use parking garage on Grand between 11th and 12th, with a Macy's and Target at opposite corners of the base. I say Macy's because it is a very middle-of-the-road department store and appeals to everybody. The parking garage could even be called "Shoppers Parkade", which was the name of the former structure there recently torn down. And imagine small, store-front infill buildings where possible as well as all of the store fronts along Grand filled with the stores of the Legends. Even if it the place still used the outlet-designation, which is good because they are more of a draw, this would have been amazing. Perhaps the Plaza could have shifted to a more upscale and local neighborhood focus and downtown would only compliment it.

Obviously, the speedway couldn't be downtown, but it could have probably been in the 635 and State Ave area, using the land Indian Springs mall is on now as well as other surrounding vacant and underutilized land. As could have been Schlitterbahn and Great Wolf Lodge.

The T-bones ballpark, Sporting KC stadium, and Cerner offices could have been in downtown KCK, instantly turning it around.
Quite frankly, I believe Cabela's (or Bass Pro for that matter) could have been in the west bottoms along the Kansas River, as could have been Nebraska Furniture Mart. Council Bluffs riverbottom land is developed opposite the river of downtown Omaha, so why couldn't ours be?

Think of the greater downtown area (including downtown KCK) if this were to have all happened the way I describe above. It would have enthrived and UNIFIED the entire area and perhaps created a new "Greater Downtown Area". KCK could have even implemented rail at a practical cost from downtown to 635 and State, being so much closer in. KCK could have even been part of a rail spine going from UMKC/the Plaza to the hypothetical speedway location.

All of this COULD have happened and really changed and unified both Kansas City's! The saddest part is I almost think Barnes and Marinovich as a team could have done this.

I'm starting to better understand a certain other member of this forum's resentment toward the island of development way out west.

~MoKan
yep
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,516,721 times
Reputation: 5415
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVPete View Post
It will be a ghost town in two decades.
maybe not a ghosttown, but it will start to struggle (actually in 10-15 years).

That area is simply not sustainable and eventially all the people that drive clear out there will find something else to drive to that is newer, fresher, closer etc. Village West doesn't even have the rooftops or demographics within 5 miles that Bannister did. When it crashes, it will crash hard.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,230,688 times
Reputation: 3739
I worry about that too. It draws well right now given the "shiny" newness factor and the fact that it's home to the top-tier stores, but I suspect we all know that can change quickly. Town Center has the nearby demographics to self-sustain, but I'm not convinced the Legends is in the same boat. Time will tell!

I go out there for one reason and one reason alone: Banana Republic Outlet, but I vastly prefer the suburban stylings of Zona Rosa for my big-box shopping needs. If BRO moved or opened another store, I'd probably never go again. It feels epically far away -- probably because of all the nothingness I drive through to get there. Though I make that exact same complaint about Zona Rosa as well.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,758 posts, read 9,494,530 times
Reputation: 2791
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
maybe not a ghosttown, but it will start to struggle (actually in 10-15 years).

That area is simply not sustainable and eventially all the people that drive clear out there will find something else to drive to that is newer, fresher, closer etc. Village West doesn't even have the rooftops or demographics within 5 miles that Bannister did. When it crashes, it will crash hard.
It is perfectly sustainable and your comments are downright foolish. Your overwhelming bias is shining through. It has exceeded expectations and a lot of people would have thought it would have crashed by now but the crowds out there are actually increasing rather than decreasing.

On top of that they are getting ready to build the new Cerner complex, the youth soccer complex, the Casino opens in February, and a few other projects are in the works.

Saying a complex is not sustainable when it is currently growing and there are several huge projects in the works is just foolish. You are getting ready to have 5k young, IT professionals start working out there. They will need places to live, places to eat, places to shop, and entertainment. While not all of them will live out there a lot of them will.

On top of that SKC is selling out games, the T-Bones sell out games, and the race track is attracting more and more events such as the Kanrocksas Festival which is working on a 10 year deal with WyCo and the racetrack. The other day I ate out there 4 hours before an SKC game and I saw no less than 30 people wearing SKC gear in the restaurant I was at and that was 4 hours before the game and in one single restaurant.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,514,915 times
Reputation: 10428
I've been there once about 4 years ago and while it was nice, I felt the same way. Why would they build this way out in the middle of nowhere? But then everything in KC seems so unnecessarily spread out to me, it seems typical for KC.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Cleverly concealed
889 posts, read 1,430,091 times
Reputation: 887
I have friends in a subdivision off Donahoo St., surrounded by rural property. They can almost reach the Legends using only a two-lane country road.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,516,721 times
Reputation: 5415
Quote:
Originally Posted by RjRobb2 View Post
It is perfectly sustainable and your comments are downright foolish. Your overwhelming bias is shining through. It has exceeded expectations and a lot of people would have thought it would have crashed by now but the crowds out there are actually increasing rather than decreasing.

On top of that they are getting ready to build the new Cerner complex, the youth soccer complex, the Casino opens in February, and a few other projects are in the works.

Saying a complex is not sustainable when it is currently growing and there are several huge projects in the works is just foolish. You are getting ready to have 5k young, IT professionals start working out there. They will need places to live, places to eat, places to shop, and entertainment. While not all of them will live out there a lot of them will.

On top of that SKC is selling out games, the T-Bones sell out games, and the race track is attracting more and more events such as the Kanrocksas Festival which is working on a 10 year deal with WyCo and the racetrack. The other day I ate out there 4 hours before an SKC game and I saw no less than 30 people wearing SKC gear in the restaurant I was at and that was 4 hours before the game and in one single restaurant.
You do know rooftops drive retail, not casinos or sports teams rights? Village West needs about 100,000 more people within five miles of there for it to even think about being sustainable long term to support 1-3 million sq ft of retail. Casinos absolutely do not generate spin off retail activity, people drive to them and leave. Sports teams generate very minimal activity and the activity they do generate is not consistent enough.

There is a huge Cerner complex by Bannister Mall. It was a thriving office park of thousands when it was the home of Marion Merrow Dow and it still has way more people working nearby than VW probably ever will. That stretch of 435 carries a lot more traffic and that site was much more visible from the interstate than VW is.

Retail patterns and habits can change in a heartbeat and KC has plenty of examples of this.

When newer large scale retail developments open in western Shawnee or lenexa closer to those that drive to VW, VW is in trouble. They are already counting their blessings that a few large scale projects in western joco have failed to materialize due to the economy, trust me. Sporting games, Tbones etc are not going to keep that area thriving. The other 95% of the people that drive to VW specifically to shop and dine will. When those people go someplace else and most of what is left is the low demographic of the sparcley populated area around there and a few stragglers before sporting events, stores will start closing and move in droves from VW regardless of how many water parks and casinos are in the area. That's why the areas around the truman sports complex and worlds of fun are so void of basic retail and restaurants. Those places are up the highway where the people that shop there actually live.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,758 posts, read 9,494,530 times
Reputation: 2791
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
You do know rooftops drive retail, not casinos or sports teams rights? Village West needs about 100,000 more people within five miles of there for it to even think about being sustainable long term to support 1-3 million sq ft of retail. Casinos absolutely do not generate spin off retail activity, people drive to them and leave. Sports teams generate very minimal activity and the activity they do generate is not consistent enough.

There is a huge Cerner complex by Bannister Mall. It was a thriving office park of thousands when it was the home of Marion Merrow Dow and it still has way more people working nearby than VW probably ever will. That stretch of 435 carries a lot more traffic and that site was much more visible from the interstate than VW is.

Retail patterns and habits can change in a heartbeat and KC has plenty of examples of this.

When newer large scale retail developments open in western Shawnee or lenexa closer to those that drive to VW, VW is in trouble. They are already counting their blessings that a few large scale projects in western joco have failed to materialize due to the economy, trust me. Sporting games, Tbones etc are not going to keep that area thriving. The other 95% of the people that drive to VW specifically to shop and dine will. When those people go someplace else and most of what is left is the low demographic of the sparcley populated area around there and a few stragglers before sporting events, stores will start closing and move in droves from VW regardless of how many water parks and casinos are in the area. That's why the areas around the truman sports complex and worlds of fun are so void of basic retail and restaurants. Those places are up the highway where the people that shop there actually live.

Yes, I am well aware of that but my point is that those new projects will create a larger demand for housing. I have heard rumbles of entire new housing projects with thousands of houses going in out there. I have three friends who have moved their families out there in the last year from the Northland. Hell, if it werent for the schools I would consider moving out there. Property values are doing well. The VW area is one of the areas in the city I see sustaining for the long haul and becoming one of the most attractive and best parts of all of KC.
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