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Old 04-14-2007, 09:51 AM
29 posts, read 107,370 times
Reputation: 12


My wife and I visited KC for the first time last week (I formally accepted a job in N. Kansas City,) visiting from our current home in Naperville, a Chicago suburb. We decided that we'd find a home in Liberty - we like the idea of small town living again, yet close to the amenities of a larger city. After spending a couple of days and nights exploring, we do have a few questions for you KC natives:

1. Perhaps a trivial thing, but who are the most popular talk radio local personalities? We love Roe Conn and his crew in the afternoon in Chicago - they can be serious or lite, always funny. In the mornings and afternoons we basically only found a couple of personalities who were deep into politics, no real "fun" factor.

2. What's the deal with the outdoor malls here? Seems to be the popular trend, e.g. Zona Rosa center is thriving, while Metro North Mall, which my wife had hoped would be our "local" mall while living in Liberty, was depressing and dying, with 2/3s of the store sites closed and empty. My wife says she has to have a mall to frequent for standard department stores, etc. We're surprised that the closest indoor mall that isn't dead is the one in Independence, a good 20 minutes or more away.

3. We discovered we can buy a house for MUCH cheaper than here in Naperville, which is very cool (although all the hilly yards was a real surprise.) What is a bit of a concern, though, is the realtors telling us some homes around the 270s-300K range will take a year or more to sell. That really scares me (even though it's good as a buyer) when thinking about the possibility of having to move again a few years from now. Is that normal for this area?

I'm sure we'll have more questions as we get closer to moving (I'll be living there in May, family to follow when we sell our house this summer, hopefully.) Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:10 AM
75 posts, read 97,952 times
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I'll be useless on helping you with N. Kansas City or Liberty, sorry, I just don't know those areas. And I'll be controversial but brave enough to post a theory about the outdoor malls. It's not my own - I actually asked and got this answer off the record from law enforcement:

Kansas City suffered a series of big malls going under because, I just can't candycoat it, the indoor malls became free "daycare" for unchaperoned junior high kids. The kids would either come on a bus after school or their parents would drop them off. If there was a movie theatre, great, but that wasn't necessarily the draw.

Food, restrooms a roof, paid adult supervision, even cops, and a semi secure environment to roam for free while the parents either went off to smoke crack, or go do whatever they do.

The shrinkage went through the roofs. And eventually the loitering, thugged out kids became regular fixtures of roaming packs.

People stopped shopping at those places because they began to feel unsafe, the stores became trashed (how could employees keep up with spreeing teenagers?) and the stores went under. Many indoor malls in KC have closed.

Enter the outdoor mall. You remove the "halls" by removing the roofs and you no longer have an enclosed pen providing shelter from the elements and a closed, secure space to drop off your kids. No more wandering in and out of the broad, open doorways of an indoor mall. Now you have to enter and exit with presence, be noted by the clerks, and if you are entering a restaurant you either need to be seated or don't go in at all.

Ta da. Revenue stays, loitering goes.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:18 AM
Location: Joplin
2,201 posts, read 2,428,575 times
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Metro North has been going down hill for years. If you want a good indoor mall, Oak Park is nice on the Kansas side. Also, unless you are set on Liberty and you like the small town appeal, check out Parkville. It is a charming little town that is verry clean on the river. It is between the river and Barry Road off of I29. Good schools and becoming a higher class community. About 5 minutes from N KC. As for the radio, I have been gone for a couple years but go home frequently. I am out of the radio loop. My parents just sold a house over 400k in Lees Summit. They had no problems. But thats a south side predicament.
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:59 AM
29 posts, read 107,370 times
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Interesting thoughts on the indoor malls. Although I would think outdoor malls would be more popular in areas like the south, where it's warm all year and thus more comfortable to just wander around. Personally, we prefer indoor just due to the weather, etc. Oak Park looks nice but looks to be about 35 minutes or so from the Northlands.

We are still considering Parkville, because it does look very charming, has that "mayberry" appeal. The only issue we had was, for day to day living, the simple shopping amenities seem a lot easier in Liberty - Walmart, Walgreens, bigger grocery stores, etc. are all in Liberty, while they all seem about 15 minutes away in Parkville. I know that's a trade-off: staying "pretty" without the big box stores and commercial areas, while still making it easy to run out and grab something you need without it being a 40 minute round trip drive. We'll probably drive over and take a look at Parkville next visit.

We do think about Overland Park, because it seems to share a lot of the things we like about Naperville, but we fear it also has what we don't like about Naperville: no feeling of community, heavy traffic everywhere, etc.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:03 AM
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 23,232,521 times
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I can't answer your questions, but please keep posting about your progress and experiences. My husband and I are relocating to the KC area this August. We'll probably be renting short-term in Liberty; we have not yet decided on where we will buy. I like the northland area; my husband likes Blue Springs, Grain Valley, that area. But we haven't really spent enough time out there to really know, and it will depend on where we find jobs.
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:29 PM
4 posts, read 13,943 times
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Considering relocating also from Naperville area, what is the commute time from Libertyville or Lees Summit to downtown KC? From an income tax point of view, is it an advantage to live in MO or KS if working in KC MO? Really looking for schools that compare with the Naperville 203 or 204 school districts
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:06 PM
Location: Washington, DC area
11,095 posts, read 22,338,234 times
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Cerner Jobs???

Jeff, first off on Metro North Mall. The main reason it's dying has nothing to do with kids hanging out there. Bannister Mall had some issues with "inner city" kids and a lot of bad pub and probably too many bus lines for one mall honestly and it went to hell. But Metro North is actually more of a victim of the Northland’s growth.

I’ll explain as quickly as I can. The Northland has boomed in the past 5-7 years. All through the 70’s and 80’s, all the Northland’s retail was at 169 and Barry. Well as the Northland grew in the 90’s there became demand for retail along I-29 and along I-35. What has happened is that the northland’s retail went for those corridors and left the metro north mall area behind. But it’s only temporary. The Northland is growing so fast that there will be enough people to support the “middle” again along with the east and west ends. The mall is slated to become the Streets of Barry which will be a lifestyle center hybrid of a cross between a mall and a zona rosa. The demographics are still very strong in that area and there is still a lot of new construction. KC is down to two major indoor malls now, Independence and Oak Park. That’s not going to change.

As far as housing prices. The reason your realtor said that was because that price bracket of homes has taken a major hit in the past few years. The baby boomers are moving into smaller places or heading for more urban areas. The younger generation is not into the big suburban mcmansions that their parents were into and metro KC just built too many homes in that bracket and not enough of the homes in others to adapt to changing demographics. You will be able to sell, it might take a bit longer, but you should be fine. I believe this trend of a glut of suburban homes like that is not just a KC thing. It’s going on everywhere. You must also remember that a 250k home in suburban KC is like a 450k home in suburban Chicago.

KC is a sports town. If you like local talk then it’s conservative or sports. The most popular non sports are on 980 and they about as boring and conservative as you can get and I can’t stand them. That’s just my opinion though. They are popular in KC.

I would stay away from Overland Park. If you live in the Northland, you will feel like you are part of KC not just a Kansan. People on the Kansas side seem to have serious and unfounded issues with KCMO (the MO side in general). You will get more house, less traffic, a shorter commute and you won’t get an “I’m better than you because I live in Overland Park” attitude.

Liberty is nice and probably the closest nice/newer suburb to downtown which is odd since most people thing Liberty is so far away. It also seems to hang on to its small town feel even though it’s a suburb.

You might also try Parkville. You don’t have to live in old Parkville. I think a lot of people call the entire west side of I-29 “Parkville”, but there is a lot over there and it’s all close to the stuff around Zona Rosa. 64th Street has a lot of shopping too and you are close to Briarcliff.


Commute time from Liberty is….nothing. Seriously they have the best drive. 15-20 minutes down I-35 with some slight delays across the bridge which is being replaced with a wider bridge right now.

Lee’s Summit can get pretty crazy. First it depends on what part of Lee’s Summit. It’s a large city and if you live way out south, you can average 40-50 minutes. But LS is also much closer to the Kansas suburbs if you ever work in Kansas.

It’s not a big deal what state you live in really. It’s much easier to live in the same one you work in for tax reasons. The MO side generally has lower taxes overall though. The schools are going to be about the same in the suburbs of MO and KS.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:55 PM
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,764 posts, read 10,544,493 times
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1. I do not listen to the radio much but when I do it is either sports talk radio or 96.5 The Buzz which has has an afternoon show that actually broadcasts from Seattle by former KC radio personalities Lazlo, Efentra, and Slimfast. There show is funny but isnt for the easily offended.

2. Outdoor malls are a dying breed. Metro North Mall is actually on the verge of being torn down and replaced with an outdoor shopping area. I have spent a lot of my life in that mall. I use to hang out there as a kid and teenager and had about 4 jobs there in High School. I only live about 5 minutes from it right now actually. Metro North has been degrading overtime and the current owner actually uses the mall as a tax writeoff which is why it is so empty. They want it that way because they get to claim it as a loss.

3. I work PT in the real estate industry and things are not always like that here. The area has just fallen victim to the recent market. It will recover in the next few years.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:53 PM
55 posts, read 289,053 times
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Overland Park is Kansas City's Naperville...but with less traffic. Jeff, you will notice that there is a bit of a divide in KC between Kansas and Missouri thats runs much deeper than a simple state line. Overland Park does tend to draw the executive types and the transplants from across the country who are transferred to the area. Liberty is nice...its an actual town...meaning its existence isnt totally reliant on being a suburb of KC. The shopping will catch up with the rooftops north of the river. The story of Metro North Mall's decline is not unique to KC, indoor malls are in decline everywhere. Kansas City's big shopping district is the Country Club Plaza with Zona Rosa, The Legends, Oak Park Mall and Independence Center following. Liberty is closest to Zona Rosa. Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:21 PM
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From a fellow Chicago native, welcome to KC, Jeff.

I'm almost sorry you mentioned Roe Conn. Yeesh, I miss him. I can't stomach radio in KC. I used to listen to Roe and Garry in the afternoons, and WXRT the rest of the time, but there is nothing at all like XRT here in KC, and there is no one like Roe Conn here either. I've found country stations, religious stations, sports stations and headbanger stations. Blecch to all of those. If I do listen to the radio, it's in the car, and it's NPR.

It's funny you mention Naperville. I was at a meeting last week, and a few of us were talkijng about having lived in the Chicago area. One woman said she had lived in Naperville for ten years and three of us piped up in unison:
"Naperville is Overland Park!"

So...good for you for opting for something a little different...not that there's anything wrong with O.P.
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