Brookside Welcomes a New Full Service Breakfast Restaurant!

The core shopping area of Brookside  offers many restaurant choices:  Italian, American, Mexican, sushi, burgers, etc for lunch and dinner.  What’s missing?  A  full service breakfast spot: welcome HomeGrown Kansas City Brookside, recently opened at 338 W 63rd St, in the former Avenues Bistro. 

Manager Mark Androes says this location is the  fourth one for the small chain; the other three are in Wichita.  Owners Jon and Lauren Rolph have a specific mission for all of their eateries:  Cultivate Kindness. They believe “if we help each other start the day right, we’re certain we will also awaken a chain of positive acts that cultivate kindness throughout our community.”  The Rolphs specifically wanted to be in the Brookside area and be part of our neighborhood.  Mark says “when people come in and are greeted with genuine kindness, we think it will spread to other neighbors and through the city”.

Mark Androes, HomeGrown Manager

HomeGrown has a cozy, warm vibe and everyone I encountered during my visit was sincerely friendly.  It’s a spacious restaurant—seating 140—with  counter spots too. Large windows frame the corner building, inviting passers-by inside.  But let’s get to the food:  HomeGrown makes most everything onsite and uses local purveyors like Shatto Milk, Farm to Market breads and Scavuzzo meats. They even make their own granola and raspberry jam.  Some of their best sellers include the avocado toast, biscuits and gravy, salsa verde pork and egg, and lemon pop tarts.  HomeGrown is open for lunch as well—serving salads and sandwiches.

A couple of other things to mention:  HomeGrown also has Family Packs you can pre order: sammies, egg bakes, pancakes and scrambles—perfect when family and friends come by for a Chiefs viewing party or the holidays.  On busy weekends when there tends to be a wait—you can hop on Yelp, put your name on the list, and know when to come in.  I also wanted to mention a unique way they spread kindness is through their kids’ menu: children color on the paper and write greetings to a friend or relative; then drop it in the mailbox on the way out. HomeGrown mails the messages! Try HomeGrown soon for a tasty breakfast or lunch. The restaurant is open seven days a week, from 6:30am-2:30pm, at the corner of 63rd St and Wornall.

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

Armour Hills Home Sales Report-August 2021

Last month, Armour Hills had it’s highest recorded home sales price of the year–and that final price was $53,000 over the list price! As I reported in last week’s blog, some Brookside homes have sold for $100,000 over asking price. That is too crazy! An over $700K price for an Armour Hills house just shows the reach some buyers have to get what they want. The high price tag affected the big jump in the median sales price compared to Aug 2020. Here are the numbers:

August 2021                                                                            August 2020

Median list price:             $384,900                                           $317,500

Median sales price:         $382,000                                           $320,000

Days on market:                 31                                                        3

No. homes sold:                  5                                                         12

Every property that sold last month closed over the list price except one. The highest sales price of the year so far was $703,000 on a home priced at $649,900.

Here are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-Aug 2021                                                                           Jan-Aug 2020

Median list price:              $367,450                                           $339,950

Median sales price:          $386,000                                           $337,500

Days on market:                 2                                                          5

No. homes sold:               50                                                        57

Compared to last year, home prices are up 14% in Armour Hills. Currently there are seven listings, ranging from $349,000 to $575,000. The median price is $399,000 and 26 days on market.

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

Waldo Home Sales Report-August 2021

Nothing really new regarding this report…Waldo prices continue to rise, and homes go under contract very quickly. Perhaps as we get into the fall/holiday season, prices will ‘normalize’ somewhat and bidding wars will subside. For these numbers, I’m using Waldo street boundaries of State Line to Holmes, Gregory to 85th St.

Jan-Aug 2021                                                                            Jan-Aug 2020

Median list price:             $250,000                                           $220,000

Median sales price:         $265,000                                           $226,000

Days on market:              2                                                          4

No. homes sold:               257                                                     240

Last month, most homes went under contract within two days and prices up 9.6% compared to August 2020. The lowest closed price was $100,000 and the highest was $500,000.

Here are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-Aug 2021                                                                            Jan-Aug 2020

Median list price:             $250,000                                           $220,000

Median sales price:         $265,000                                           $226,000

Days on market:              2                                                          4

No. homes sold:               257                                                     240

Compared to last year at this time, home values are up 17% ! More homes are selling, for more money and in less time. Currently there are 20 homes listed, with a median price of $249,950 and 23 days on market. Prices range from $97,000 to $417,000.

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

Brookside Home Sales Report-August 2021

Greetings, neighbors! In today’s report, some interesting news: it’s not just the moderately priced homes that have multiple offers and sell over asking price–as last month’s stats show, big spenders in Brookside are willing to spend way, way over the list price when they want a home. These are the sales figures for Brookside, using the main Brookside zip code of 64113, single family homes:

August 2021                                                                               August 2020

Median list price:     $507,450                                                   $417,500

Median sales price: $507,500                                                   $440,000

Days on market:              3                                                            3

No. homes sold:               30                                                        38

Home values were up 15% compared to August 2020. The median sales price is high because eighteen homes sold at or over the list price, including at least two homes that sold for over $100K beyond the list price! The lowest closed price last month was $247,000.

Here are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-Aug 2021                                                                             Jan-August 2020

Median list price:      $467.748                                                  $392,450

Median sales price:  $482,763                                                  $400,000

Days on market:              2                                                            8

No. homes sold:               226                                                     190

More homes have sold at this point in the year as compared to 2020, and overall, prices up 20%! Most homes go under contract within 48 hours of listing. I think as we get into the colder weather and even less inventory, prices may stabilize. Currently there are 26 homes listed in Brookside, with a median price of $535,000. Over half the homes are priced over $500K, including 5 that are over $1,000,000.

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

Brookside Art Annual and Waldo Fall Festival This Weekend!

It’s a festival of festivals this weekend in our neighborhood! The weather is looking good to be outdoors and enjoy cooler weather while supporting regional artists, local businesses and restaurants.

The 35th Brookside Art Annual is back, after being cancelled last year due to the COVID pandemic. Hours are Friday 5-9pm; Saturday 10am-9pm; Sunday 11am-5pm Sept 17-19. Tents will be set up at 63rd St and Brookside Blvd. There will be children’s activities each day and food available from Charlie Hooper’s, Michael Forbes, Cosintino’s and Topsy’s. Please leave pets at home! More details on the artists featured at www.brooksideartannual.com.

Also this weekend is the 29th Annual Waldo Fall Festival, in a new location: the parking lot at Gregory and Wornall off the Trolley Track Trail. According to the Waldo KC website, this year’s festival will feature local pop up shops and vendors with special offers, plus services and local Waldo information. In the past, there have been children’s activities and food trucks but those aren’t mentioned for this year’s event. Still, it’s fun to browse the tents and support our local businesses! Hours are 10am-5pm.

Get out and enjoy our neighborhood celebrations this weekend!

Wine Tasting Room Opens in Waldo

Waldo is known for it’s small specialty shops, restaurants and services.  Now thee is anotherunique new place just opened you should know aboutMarco Polo Selections.  It’s a wine tasting room and event space at 336 W 75th St, a few steps away from the new West Waldo 222 Flats. 

I stopped in recently and spoke with co owners Emily Maher and Nate Riley, who have been friends since high school.  Emily has been raising a family and ran a personal organizing business; Nate has extensive experience working with restaurant suppliers and wine distributors.  One day Nate called Emily saying “I have an idea…..” and Marco Polo Selections was born.

Their tagline is “rare times, rare wines”—and that phrase works on so many levels!  The pandemic has reworked the way we think, play and travel—every moment of a “normal” life is a gift so don’t waste it!  Explore new places, new foods, new wines..and this is a shop where you can get wines you can’t get anywhere else in the city.  Started as an online liquor store, Marco Polo Selections features all “old world wines”,  as Nate explained, from small family run vineyards in  Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Argentina.  Wine flights of four varieties are $25, and most bottles range in price from $13-$25.  The space is small, intimate yet casual and very friendly.  “There’s no pretense or intimidation here” said Nathan.  “It’s a big old world out there and we want to help people enjoy it”.

One of the unique features of Marco Polo Selections is you are welcome to bring in your own food:  grab some take out from nearby Jovito’s or Waldo Pizza; or have Uber Eats bring you a meal.  You can take your time tasting various wines while enjoying dinner!  There’s really no other place like this in Kansas City.  You can also  book Marco Polo Selections for a private event, and they have access to the shaded outdoor courtyard in the back for extra space.  Currently the hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm-8pm.  Nate explained they were very busy several weeks ago when the mask mandate was dropped and we all thought most of the population would be vaccinated by summer’s end.  Now that the mask mandate is back in place, traffic has dropped off some.  Still, this is a new, locally owned business and the buzz is spreading.  It has a totally different vibe from your usual Waldo bar—a place where you can taste and learn about different wines, have a conversation without shouting and enjoy yourself chatting with friends.

Next time you are looking for something a little different to do–make a visit to Marco Polo Selections at 336 W 75th St. Catch them on Instagram at marcopoloselections.

Waldo Home Sales Report-July 2021

Here we are into the ‘dog days’ of summer, trying to stay inside, escaping from the triple digit temperatures. Home sales usually dip in August–next month we’ll see if that holds true for this red hot home buying year. For now, here are the Waldo home sales stats for July 2021, using the boundaries of Gregory to 85th St; State Line to Holmes.

July 2021                                                             July 2020

Median list price:    $234,000                              $199,000

Median sales price:  $255,000                            $210,000

Days on market:                  2                                    3

No. sold:                                31                               47

Those figures represent a 21% increase in sales price compared to last year! Lowest closed price was $138,000 and the highest was $445,000.

Here are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-July 2021                                                       Jan-July 2021

Median list price:    $250,000                              $215,000

Median sales price: $265,000                             $225,500

Days on market:              2                                              4

No. sold:                           225                                         212

The number of homes sold is running a bit ahead of last year; and properties are still selling very fast once they hit the market. Median sales price is up 17% over last year.

Currently there are nineteen single family homes for sale in Waldo, with a median list price of $245,000 and 16 days on market.

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

Armour Hills Home Sales Report—July 2021

Hi neighbors! Home sales are consistently strong in Armour Hills, and prices are much higher compared to July 2020. Let’s look at the numbers:

July 2021                                                             July 2020

Median list price:      $375,000                            $319,000

Median sales price:   $395,000                           $335,000

Days on market:                  2                                    1

No. sold:                                11                                 7

Buyer paid about 5% over list price; values up 17% compared to July 2020. Here are the year-to-date figures:

Jan-July 2021                                                        Jan-July 2020

Median list price:     $365,000                             $347,000

Median sales price:  $390,000                            $342,500

Days on market:                                                       8

No. sold:                                45                                   44

Median sales price jumped 13% over last year; most homes selling faster as well. The highest Armour Hills closed price in 2021 so far is $605,000 and the lowest is $212,000. Currently there are three active listings, with an average price of $399,000 and 53 days on market.

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

Brookside Home Sales Report-July 2021

You may have heard that home sales are slowing down…and it is true. That is what I am experiencing and many of my fellow agents. Looking at this home sales report, you wouldn’t think so! However, remember that most July closings had confirmed contracts in May and June–when there was more demand, pushing prices up. The stats are for the main Brookside zip code of 64113.

July 2021                                                                   July 2020

Median list price:    $434,500                              $425,000

Median sales price: $460,000                             $425,000

Days on market:      3                                              5

No. sold:                    28                                           33

Buyers paid an average of 5.8% over list price to purchase their homes, with some houses going way over asking: the highest sale last month was $981K on a $950K house; another listed at $799K and closed at $862,000! People will pay a lot for updated, charming 1920s homes! Here are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-July 2021                                                           Jan-July 2020

Median list price:    $450,000                              $387,475

Median sales price: $478,500                             $393,750

Days on market:                                                  8

No. sold:                    196                                         152

Home values are up 21% compared to 2020; highest sale so far is $4.2 million and lowest is $212,000. I don’t think these trends will hold through the end of the year–we will see! Currently there are 12 active listings in Brookside, with a median price of $562,450 and 40 days on market. Twelve homes are priced over $500,000; four over one million dollars.

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