Discussions Underway for a New Waldo Library

The Waldo branch of the Kansas City Public Library system, at 201 E 75th St, would like more space to serve local residents. It’s currently the second busiest location; the Plaza branch has the top spot.  Preliminary talks are underway between the library and the Kansas City Public School district about a move to the old Bingham school site, at  7618 Wyandotte (77th and Wornall, behind the Firestone Tire building).

I recently spoke with Eric Gunderson, President of the Waldo Tower Neighborhood Association to find out more.  Last November, he hosted a public meeting at the library to start a dialogue with neighbors about possible plans.  Shannon Jaxx from KCPS and library consultants were present. The site of the former school is 7.5 acres, and a new library building would use up just part of the empty lot.  The current building on 75th St has 14,000 SF; a new building would ideally be between 22-25,000 SF and include useable outdoor space for patrons.  Inside, there would be a larger, dedicated children’s area; a computer lab, an array of different sized meeting rooms and more storage space. The library and consultants feel that with the current building maintenance issues (leaky roof, space constrictions, etc), it would be less expensive to build a brand new building.  Currently the library is funded by a portion of KCMO  resident property taxes; it was stated in the meeting that no new taxes would be needed to fund a new structure.  No building plans have been drawn up; at this stage, it’s all talk and figuring out various options.  Eric says if the relocation does happen, it would be at least five years, probably more, before the new library opened.  He reports that there wasn’t any opposition to a new building; the challenge would be some increased traffic in the residential area, as the entrance to the site is off Wyandotte and not Wornall.

I also asked Eric about other significant happenings in Waldo; we talked about all the new locally owned businesses that chose Waldo as their home—so many in just the past couple of years, despite the pandemic.  The biggest changes are happening in the streetscapes:  along Gregory from Wornall to Oak, you’ve seen the construction workers and detours as KCMO installed “traffic calming” elements like curb extensions and a dedicated bike lane, .all of these improvements will make this area more pedestrian/bike friendly.  In the near future, major changes are coming along Wornall from 74th-79th St, especially in the busy area in front of Waldo Pizza.  Plans include new streetlights, water main replacement, a new roadway, parking lot improvements, and more.  You can read more details about these plans at the Waldo neighborhood website under Resources. And you can keep up with other Waldo news/meetings at the site as well.

Updated Brookside Bungalow for Sale-Close to Streetcar/Whole Foods

This house is a rare find….a four bedroom bungalow, just over 2000 SF and move in ready! As you can see, very attractive curb appeal!

5618 Cherry St, Kansas City MO FOR SALE

Step inside to the first floor, featuring hardwood floors, living room with fireplace, spacious dining room, two bedrooms and full bath.

Living Room with Fireplace
Dining Room

The kitchen…is spectacular! Recently renovated, sellers have added all new appliances, marble backsplash, quartz counters, custom hood over gas stove and a separate beverage fridge.

Newly Remodeled Kitchen, with Plenty of Countertops and Cabinets

Surrounded by windows, the breakfast nook is full of natural light and leads to a large deck overlooking the back yard.

So much space in this upstairs primary suite! Vaulted ceilings, a walk in closet with laundry, and bathroom with shower and tub. The smaller bedroom on the second floor could be used as office space.

Plenty of grassy area in the fenced backyard for pets or garden; easy access to the lower level garage too!

5618 Cherry St…just a few blocks from Whole Foods, the future streetcar stop; close to Brookside, Crestwood Shops, Loose Park and the Trolley Track Trail! Offered at $419,000. Contact me for more information-Mary Hutchison, Better Homes and Gardens-Kansas City Homes.

Waldo Home Sales Report – June 2022

Halfway through the year for Waldo home sales and the stats are showing a bit of a slowdown to what we’ve been experiencing for the past several months: buyers are still paying over the asking price, and newly listed homes going under contract within 48 hours. Yet the number of units sold — big drop. Here are the details for single family homes in Waldo; I use the street boundaries of Gregory to 85th St and State Line to Holmes:

June 2022June 2021
Median list price:$240,000$255,000
Median sales price:$250,000$270,000
No. homes sold: 27 49
Days on market: 2 2

There was a 7.4% drop in median sales price compared to June 2021 and fewer homes sold. Part of the reason for this could be the interest rate hikes that started this Spring–that can have an affect on buyers’ budgets. Here are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-June 2022Jan-June 2021
Median list price:$250,000$255,000
Median sales price:$275,000$265,000
No. homes sold: 149 195
Days on market: 2 2

This chart shows us the number of units closed is down 23% compared to last year, and prices are up 3.7%. Fewer units available for sale pushed the closed price higher as some houses are still experiencing multiple offers for the well maintained, well priced properties.

Currently there are 13 homes listed in Waldo, with a median list price of $314,900 and six days on the market.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Armour Hills Home Sales Report- June 2022

Home values in Armour Hills continue to rise, and last month we had the third highest closed sale ever–it’s very rare for an Armour Hills house to sell for over $700K but it happened again! Here are the stats for this Brookside subdivision:

June 2022June 2021
Median list price:$390,000$337,500
Median sales price:$430,000$347,500
No. of homes sold: 9 8
Days on market: 2 2

Overall, home values are up 23% compared to June 2021! The highest sale last month was $701,000 on a list price of $660,000. The lowest sale was $365,000.

Here are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-June 2022Jan-June 2021
Median list price:$395,000$365,000
Median sales price:$420,000$367,450
No. of homes sold: 43 34
Days on market: 2 2

Compared to the first six months of last year, home values are up 14%; buyers are paying 6% over asking price. With interest rates rising, we’ll see how the end of the year shakes out–if prices come down somewhat. There is still a lot of demand so I don’t foresee a big plunge in home sales at all. Currently there are five homes listed in Armour Hills with an average price of $405,000 and ten days on the market. The ten day figure shows you that at least some homes are not going under contract within 48 hours of listing. Of those five homes, all listed within the three weeks, three of them have had price reductions.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Brookside Home Sales Report-June 2022

Here we are at the halfway point of home sales this year…and my, how the market has changed since January! Primarily regarding the higher interest rate. There is still quite a bit of demand though, and prices are still rising. Let’s take a look at last month’s stats first for Brookside, using the primary zip code of 64113:

June 2022June 2021
Median list price:$459,950$482,000
Median sales price:$485,000$500,000
No. homes sold: 26 38
Days on market: 2 2

The highest sale last month (and so far for 2022) was $2.85 million, which was $101K over the list price! The lowest closed price was $340,000. Final sales prices were about 3% below last June.

Here’s a look at year-to-date numbers:

Jan-June 2022Jan-June 2021
Median list price:$489,250$470,250
Median sales price:$500,500$482,763
No. homes sold: 146 168
Days on market: 2 2

Overall, buyers are still paying just under 4% over the asking price; and home values are up 6.74% compared to the first half of 2021. We’ve had fewer sales this year; most Brookside houses are still going under contract within 48 hours of listing. Currently there are 14 active single family home listings in Brookside, with an average list price of $487,500 and nine days on the market. Prices range from $300K to $4,000,000.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Waldo Home Sales Report-May 2022

With interest rates on the rise, will the hot Waldo housing market slow down? Personally, I don’t think so. There may be fewer multiple offers and perhaps price reductions, but there is still so much demand for houses in Waldo, especially priced under $300K. Here are the stats for May, using sales in the street boundaries of State Line to Holmes and Gregory to 85th St, single family properties.

May 2022May 2021
Median list price:$297,500$265,000
Median sales price:$318,000$278,500
No. of homes sold: 26 32
Days on market: 2 2

Buyers paid almost 7% over asking price last month with their offers; and compared to a year ago, values are up a whopping 14%! Below are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-May 2022Jan-May 2021
Median list price: $250,000 $250,000
Median sales price: $278,000 $264,500
No. of homes sold: 119 148
Days on market: 3 2

These figures show us that fewer homes have sold this year; still prices up 5% over 2021. The lowest closed price so far this year is $45,000 and the highest is $650,000. Currently just twelve active single family house listings, ranging in price from $217,950-$535,000 and 12 days on the market.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

New Brookside Listing–Beautifully Updated and Move In Ready!

This is one of the prettiest and most well maintained homes I’ve ever listed….just look at that front porch that says “Come on in!”

There are so many special features in this house…first, the basics. It’s a two story, 3 bedroom, 21/2 bath home with a two car garage and private drive. Inside you’ll find a spacious living room with wood burning fireplace that leads to a bright and comfortable sunroom.

Like to cook? Plenty of counters and cabinets here, plus high end appliances! Sellers opened up the wall from the kitchen to the dining room for easy flow of guests for special celebrations and entertaining.

Upstairs, an expanded primary suite featuring a walk in closet, laundry, exercise area and custom shower/double vanity.

Now that the warmer weather is here, you’ll enjoy the private, fenced backyard with patio and wood burning fireplace. Note the garage is extra wide!

Other features include newer roof and exterior paint, climate controlled wine cellar and extra storage space under the two story addition. Truly, a very special Brookside home in an excellent location–close to Trolley Track Trail, shops and parks. 5825 McGee, offered at $549,000. Listed with Better Homes and Gardens, Kansas City Homes. Message me for more info!

Waldo Welcomes Waldo Flats!

Being a homeowner isn’t for everyone…many people prefer the “lock and go” convenience of an apartment or condo. However, there are very few apartment/condo complexes in Waldo. That recently changed as Waldo now offers a brand new apartment building, located in the heart of our neighborhood.  222 Waldo Flats recently opened at 222 W 75th St, just steps away from the lively 75th and Wornall intersection, and I stopped by recently to take a look.

Andrew Ganahl and Diane Botwin

Upon entering the spacious lobby, featuring a colorful, commissioned textile art piece,  I was greeted by co- owners Diane Botwin and Andrew Ganahl.  You may have heard of Diane—she owns several commercial properties in Waldo; Andrew is originally from California, now lives in Kansas City and has developed two apartment projects in the Crossroads.  Partnering with Slaggie Architects, they have created   sleek, modern, yet very comfortable flats.   Studios, one bedroom and two bedroom units are available.  Each comes with all the necessary appliances, including washer/dryer, and most have balconies.  There is a secured package room and bike room; parking is available for an extra fee; pets are OK and the building is wired for Google Fiber.  Littlefield Eye Associates has commercial space on the first floor, and there is another smaller spot available for retail or service business.

What impressed me about these apartments are the extra details:  not all are exactly alike. Some have darker cabinets; some have traditional white. There are high end finishes, including tiled showers, quartz counters and large windows (that open!) to bring in plenty of natural light and fresh air.  Even the smaller studio apartments “live”  like a one bedroom unit. Monthly rent starts at $1025. 

Of course, one of the best features of this building is the location.  As Diane said, “Our amenity is Waldo.  Waldo has its own personality and our building fits in.  We have a great group of multigenerational tenants; it’s very inviting to young and old.” Andrew continued:  “We wanted to be in an area where people could walk to everything”.  Within a few steps of the front door: pharmacy, grocery,  library, several restaurants, coffee shop, bike shop,  hardware store, bars and convenient bus stop. Everything Waldo is right here!

If you are interested in touring Waldo Flats, you can request an appointment or find more information on their website

Waldo Home Sales Report-Jan 2021

The cold weather and snow did not slow down home sales in Waldo last month… houses are still selling quickly! Here are the stats for January 2021, and a comparison to January 2020. The Waldo boundaries I’m using are State Line-Holmes and Gregory to 85th St.

January 2021January 2020
Median list price: $237,500$199,750
Median sales price: $237,000$196,250
No. of homes sold: 24 18
Days on market: 3 18

Home values are up almost 21% compared to a year ago! Still a lot of demand and not much inventory. The lowest closed price last month was $129,000 and the highest was $410,000. Currently there are just five listings in Waldo, with an average list price of $322,450 and five days on market.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Jovito’s Italian Cafe Now Open in Waldo

There are many food take out options in the Brookside / Waldo area.  Choices include traditional fast food and local eateries offering salads, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, etc.  Last month, Jovito’s Italian Café &Deli opened in the former One More Cup space on Wornall—filling a niche in the area for those wanting something a little different. And who doesn’t like Italian food??

You may remember  Jovito’s at their old location on State Line at 123rd St.  Last summer, the owners decided not to renew the lease and move to Waldo, focusing completely on take out services.  It’s still the same tasty food (and some of the same décor)—long time Kansas Citians may remember Mario’s in Westport, which closed several years ago.  Jovito’s owners bought the business and recipes for the State Line shop.  Popular items include their signature Grinder, stuffed with meatballs or sausage, and the Italian Steak sandwich.  They also have cold sandwiches, several kinds of pasta, salads with homemade dressing and a few dessert selections.  The food has that good, homecooked taste – as the recipes were handed down over the years from an Italian grandma’s kitchen!

Owner Leasa Caron says business has been very , very good!  “I wasn’t aware there was a void for an Italian sandwich shop in this area.  I’ve lived in Waldo 22 years and it’s nice to be back in the neighborhood, close to my home.  The community has made us feel very welcome.” All items are served to go, and in the warmer months there will be a few outdoor tables available to enjoy your meal in the fresh air.  At this time, it’s best to call in your order by phone—Jovito’s does work with some delivery apps but because their food is so fresh and daily specials can sell out quickly—best to call and talk to a human about your order, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.  Service is fast and friendly. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-7pm, with convenient parking in front of the store at 7408 Wornall or in the back parking lot off Washington St.  There’s a small alley off the back lot that takes you to the front of the restaurant. 

Welcome to Waldo, Jovito’s Italian Café and Deli—stop in soon to support yet another locally owned business!