Centered Spirit-Now Open in Waldo

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With all the current chatter about health insurance, premiums, who’s covered, rising costs–it can be just another source of stress to our already fast paced lives. If you want to investigate a different style of taking care of your mind and physical body, consider a visit to Centered Spirit, a new Cultural and Holistic Center in Waldo.

massage roomCentered Spirit believes in “the body’s innate wisdom and natural ability to find health and achieve balance”. Alex Jackson has been practicing traditional Mayan medicine for fourteen years, first in a Brookside office location. He and his wife Emilie opened Centered Spirit in January 2017. Alex works with patients regarding digestive disorders, muscle pains, anxiety, female health issues, depleted energy and offers several types of traditional therapies, such as Maya Abdominal Massage, cupping, holistic counseling, acupuncture and herbal remedies.  Alex explains that “different life events can trigger physical changes in your body as well as emotional stress.”  He takes the time to “assess, connect and heal” with the goal of solutions that will work for each unique person for the long term.

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Their expanded facility at 8131 Wornall has four treatment rooms plus an infrared sauna as well as a larger community area for classes and teaching. To celebrate Emilie’s native country of France, they have opened a French tea room in the building which Emilie operates, featuring several imported teas from France (also sold by the ounce). Emilie recently wrote about the health benefits of tea for Evolving in Kansas City.   Both Alex and Emilie love promoting different cultures — they have travelled extensively to places like Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. Artwork they have purchased while roaming the Earth hangs throughout the building, and the couple loves sharing their passion for other cultures through food, art and healing traditions.  Centered Spirit also offers workshops for the public; the next one is April 1-2, 2017 titled “Life On Purpose”.

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Centered Spirit is located at 8131 Wornall–that is the southeast corner of 81st Terrace and Wornall. If you would like to find out more about their services–stop by for a cup of tea! Or contact Alex Jackson at 816 225 9393. The Centered Spirit blog, with their event listings, is posted at www.centeredspiritblog.wordpress.com.

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Legendary KC Small Shop Closing Soon

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After 33 years of serving Kansas City residents, Sheehan’s Irish Imports is closing at the end of the month.  It’s current location is on the border of Brookside and Waldo, at 410 E Gregory.  

Sheehan’s Irish Imports is one of those classic, family owned small businesses.  Daughter Katy Sheehan told me her mother Peggy started selling Irish products as a hobby out of her home in 1985. As the business grew, Pryde’s offered her a space in the corner of their building in Westport. The next move was to a larger, free standing store at 1412 Westport Road, then a final move to the Brookside/Waldo location in 2015. Katy and her sister Molly have operated the store for the past several years.

sheehans katyLike every other retail business, Sheehan’s has been affected by globalism and online sales. Katy says “these days, you can find Irish products everywhere”–for example, the popular Inis perfume they carried can now be ordered through Amazon or found in various other local tourist shops.  Katy and Molly enjoyed running the store, getting to know customers, promoting Irish products and offering excellent client service.  Now it’s time for a new adventure, as Katy says one of her goals in retirement is to visit every U.S. national park.

From now until closing June 30, 2018, everything on the store is on sale — 40% off.  You can browse through Irish CDs, religious items, baby clothes, keychains, jewelry, hats, caps and of course, warm Irish sweaters (this winter, you’ll appreciate that bargain sweater bought on a 90 degree day!). Thanks to the Sheehan family for their decades of serving KC residents!  And as a final note, Katy told me KC Needlepoint is moving from 105 E Gregory into this space. 

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Edible Cookie Dough Shop Opens in Brookside

Who doesn’t like to sneak spoonfuls of cookie dough when all the ingredients are mixed together in the bowl? Now your cravings can be satisfied with a visit to the new Sweet and Simple shop in Brookside.  It’s a store with various flavors of safe-to-eat cookie dough…what a concept!

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When I stopped by recently to check out the place, the manager explained edible cookie dough is a new concept for the Midwest– it’s already popular in California and New York.  All flavors are made in house, followed by a cooking and chilling process.   There is a “signature” flavor, which tastes like a basic vanilla flavored dough; other options include Birthday Cake, S’Mores, Finding Dory, Mint and Chocolate Bliss.  Of course there are many, many toppings you can add (crackers, pretzels, nuts, sprinkles, candy, etc–.25 each) and the flavored drizzle squirts are free. One scoop is $5, two for $7.50. 

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Sweet and Simple also makes smoothies and  milk tea (bubble tea) with several flavor choices–and some unusual ones, like white gourd, tamarind, and lycee.  Local owner Diana Dang also owns BKS Nails in Brookside.  She wanted to be in Brookside for this second business because of the neighborhood vibe, the friendliness of the people and how they support “mom and pop” shops and stores. 

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This bright, clean store has some indoor seating and a few games for kids–Scrabble and Connect 4, which is a nice touch…interactive play instead of screens!  Hours are Monday – Thursday 10:30am-8:30pm; Friday and Saturday 10:30am-9:30pm and Sunday noon-7.  Sweet and Simple is located at 326 W 63rd St, in part of the former Reading Reptile space. Stop by, enjoy a treat and welcome another new local business to Brookside!

A Brooksider Walks Into The Starbucks…

There’s been a lot of discussion between Brookside/Waldo neighbors about the new Starbucks setting up shop in the heart of the shopping district.  So many passionate remarks against a national chain moving in; others seem to welcome the homegrown USA company that treats its employees well and produces a quality product.  Does there have to be a feud between Starbucks and Roasterie patrons? Can’t we all just get along?

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Starbucks mural

I visited the Starbucks earlier this week.  It wasn’t very busy, probably because it was over 90 degrees outside at 4 in the afternoon!  It’s a spacious store, with plenty of seating and a large counter, plus plenty of windows to people watch the pedestrians. I like the drawing on the west side of the building, and the inviting tables and chairs outside. 

Coffee at this level is very much a personal preference — I find Roasterie coffee tastes smoother, and it’s hard to find another coffee spot that so expertly creates  the foam latte topping as well.  Roasterie offers a wide assortment of locally made snacks, chocolates and pastries, and at both thank you Brooksideplaces you can order ahead so you don’t have to talk to a human. But I do enjoy Starbucks coffee, generally the servers are friendly (excluding airport Starbucks in my experience!)  and it can be less expensive than Roasterie.  For example, a 16 oz bag of beans at Starbucks runs $14-$15; at Roasterie the 12 oz bag of beans start at $14.  Lattes, straight gray coffee, expresso and teas are competitive in pricing. 

There is definitely a ‘vibe’ difference between the two stores.  Roasterie is more industrial, gray;  it has the big  open windows, a patio and games for the kids. Starbucks is a brand new store, all prettied up and organized with wood accents and sleek long counters.  Roasterie feels comfortable, local and unique, partly because I’ve been going there since it opened. The Roasterie logo is unique to KC; I can walk into any USA Starbucks and know I’m in a national chain shop. 

My first choice is to support Roasterie.  Brooksider Danny O’Neil took that ugly corner that was once an abandoned gas station (where I got carjacked) and turned it into one of Brookside’s most beloved and popular hang out spots. This was the first Roasterie Cafe location  in Kansas City, and now there are  at least six Cafes around the metro area…indeed it is a locally based chain.   The company does a lot to support local kids’ sports teams and donates coffee to community organizations.  They mix up special blends for area restaurants and organizations. Will Starbucks do the same?   

I’m sure I’ll stop in the Starbucks at times too. It seems the idea of Starbucks coming to Brookside is worse than their actual presence.  If the local and national landlords that rent Brookside space on both sides of 63rd St are smart, they will keep the area primarily locally based owned and operated businesses.  That is what keeps our neighborhood so special–the one of a kind stores & restaurants, the personal service, the unique items you can buy here in Brookside and Waldo. Not every local business can afford the pricey rent in this highly trafficked area, and sometimes local Brookside businesses lose their lease (for example, Shopgirls).  If the landlords want to make the focus all about how much money they can make by courting only national chains, the area may not thrive as it does now.  I don’t think that will happen.  Brookside has changed over the years, and various services and restaurants will continue to open and close.  So, now we have yet another chain, to go with Jimmy Johns, Panera Bread, Baskin Robbins/Topsy’s, CVS, Tuesday Morning, etc.  Brookside/Waldo residents are known for patronizing home grown businesses–for now, the mix between local/national stores seems to work. 

 

Armour Hills Home Sales Report-April 2018

Interesting home sales stats for the Armour Hills subdivision last month, and year to date comparisons.  Armour Hills remains a very popular area for homebuyers, due to it’s charming 1920s homes, various price range and styles and location near Brookside and Waldo shops.  First let’s look at the monthly figures:

April 2018                                                           April 2017

Median list price:     $318,500                         Median list price:     $299,950

Median sales price:  $339,500                         Median sales price:  $310,000

No. of homes sold:       8                                  No. of homes sold:      6

Days on market:           6                                  Days on market:        13

Both months show final sales price over list price, and homes going under contract in less than two weeks.  Last month, five homes sold over asking price; one was $38K over and another was $31K over…almost unbelievable, but I see this same thing happening in other parts of the metro area. Compared to April 2017, prices are up 9.5%.

Jan-April 2018                                                               Jan-April 2017

Median list price:     $300,000                                    Median list price:    $314,750

Median sales price:  $300,000                                    Median sales price;  $312,250

No. of homes sold:       21                                           No. of homes sold:     20

Days on market:          7                                              Days on market:         16

Year to date, prices are down just under 4%.  However, note that so far this year, homeowners are getting asking price or over, for the most part.  It’s definitely a strong market favoring sellers. Currently there are 8 homes listed in Armour Hills, with a median price of $342,000 and 31 days on market.

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

Waldo Home Sales Report-April 2018

Waldo home prices keep creeping up…again last month, many of the homes sold over the list price.  The highest sale was $430K–a whopping $30K over the asking price!  Here are the April 2018 sales stats, using the boundaries of Gregory to 85th St and State Line to Holmes:

April 2018                                                            April 2017

Median list price:    $209,975                           Median list price:    $159,000

Median sales price:  $212,500                          Median sales price:  $161,000

No. of homes sold:      44                                  No. of homes sold:      31

Days on market:        30                                    Days on market:          4

Checking year-to-date figures:

Jan-April 2018                                                     Jan-April 2017

Median list price:     $189,950                          Median list price:      $167,400

Median sales price:  $192,000                          Median sales price:    $170,200

No. of homes sold:      119                                No. of homes sold:       118

Days on market:          18                                  Days on market:           30

The number of homes is steady YTD–median sales price is up 12% over same period last year.  Demand is high, inventory low.  It’s a frustrating market for buyers in Waldo.

Currently there are 20 single family homes for sale in Waldo, with a median price of $244,500 and 12 days on market.  The lowest list price is $124,900 and the highest is $450,000.

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

 

Rockhill Gardens Home For Sale!

Rockhill Gardens is one of the most popular Brookside/Waldo area subdivisions..and I just listed a terrific home here!  It’s located at 400 E 71st Terrace, on the corner of 71st Terrace and Oak. Check out this curb appeal!

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What’s so special about this Tudor style home is that it retains the original charming details yet is updated for today’s buyer! Featuring a popular  two story, center hall floorplan, it has three bedrooms and two full baths, plus a partially finished basement.  The living room features a wood burning fireplace, and the French door opens to a cozy side room–perfect for small playroom or reading nook.

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The kitchen was recently updated, with new flooring, paint, cooktop and fridge.  Extra bonus–a spacious pantry!  The attached garage is just off the kitchen.

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Note the large, light filled dining room with original arched windows!

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The sellers have transformed the backyard since ownership, adding a patio, fresh sod and privacy fence.

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Other important updates:  newer roof, HVAC, exterior paint and sewer line.  You can’t beat this location–walk to Waldo shops, services, restaurants and Bier Station!  The address is 400 E 71st Terrace, offered at $315,000. Contact me at mary.hutchison@kansascityhomes.com if you would like more detailed information.

Brookside Home Sales Report – April 2018

Another month of strong home sales for Brookside, as we are right in the middle of the busy Spring home buying season.  The strongest demand is for the under $300K price range, however most homes in Brookside’s  main zip code of 64113 are priced higher (and in fairness, these higher priced homes are much larger, justifying a higher price). Here are the stats, followed by YTD comparisons:

April 2018                                                                             April 2017

Median list price:     $409,000                                      Median list price:    $399,000

Median sales price:  $397,000                                      Median sales price:  $384,000

No. of homes sold:       21                                             No. of homes sold:    28

Days on market:           6                                               Days on market:       17

The lowest sales price last month was $221,000 (closed at $3K over list price) and the highest was $1.2 million.  

Jan-April 2018                                                                    Jan-April 2017

Median list price:        $404,900                                 Median list price:     $399,000

Median sales price:     $387,000                                 Median sales price:  $393,461

No. of homes sold:       72                                           No. of homes sold:     79

Days on market:           16                                           Days on market:       34

Year to date, median prices have decreased just under 2% from last year, however, part of that decrease is due to the fact the higher priced homes ($500K+) rarely sell for list price.  We’ve had four sales this year over $1 million.  Currently there are 47 active listings in 64113, with just 15 of those homes priced under $400K; highest list price is $4.5 million. Median list price is $535,000 and 33 days on market.

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