A few weeks ago I posted a blog after meeting up with the new Waldo Business Association Executive Director, Chelsea Kapka. I thought it would be a good idea to also chat with the Director of the Brookside Business Association Sean Ackerson, for an update on what’s going on in Brookside as well!
Sean reports that Brookside remains a healthy, desirable location for businesses (certainly home sales remain strong in the area!). Although World’s Window has closed, LADYCO recently moved into a larger location, and CYCLEBAR is now open. A new bank is going into the former Bank of America location, a few steps west of Mike’s Liquors, and Meddy’s, a Wichita chain of Mediterranean restaurants, is taking over the former Panera location. Nothing is happening that Sean is aware of in the former Fiddly Fig location; a member of Block Real Estate Services purchased the building and for some reason, staged a fire truck out in front. That was a surprise to Sean; he says many people walking the area end up using it as a photo op!
Another unexpected development was the “Brookside Local” shop at the new KCI. Described as “a thoughtful array of travel essentials, indulgences, and last minute giftable treats, presented in a space that pays homage to the vibrant neighborhood of Brookside”, Sean first learned about the space when merchants started calling, asking why they didn’t get a chance to display their local goods for sale in the space. Apparently the Las Vegas based company who coordinated the retail areas didn’t contact the Brookside association when planning: reps approached a couple of stores directly (SKIN and Topsy’s) to provide items in the shop, and they used the iconic Brookside awning colors and typeface during the build out. Other Brookside merchants were confused regarding the lack of communication and opportunity; Sean didn’t know what happened and technically, this is a rip off of the Brookside image without permission. Eventually the mystery was solved and Sean is in touch with KCI for better coordination.
One upcoming issue farther down the road: street improvements to Meyer Blvd and 63rd St. Meyer is under the KC Parks and Recreation department; 63rd is not, so two different entities at City Hall need to coordinate and agree…of course, any suggested plans move ….very…..slowly…..The Association would like to see changes that reduce traffic speed, create dedicated turn lanes, and add a bike lane along one side of 63rd.
Overall, “many businesses are thriving like never before” says Sean and although it hurts to lose World’s Window, there are new businesses coming in and this “isn’t the first time Brookside has been through a transition. The new places that open help everyone.”
The neighborhood residents are very, very supportive of local businesses and the fact that we have such unique shops and restaurants here –that’s a big part of Brookside’s charm and what draws outsiders to the area. THANK YOU for being loyal to our area Brookside merchants!