Brookside East Welcomes New Businesses

butch photo



The Brookside East area continues to grow,  with more businesses on the way! Developer Butch Rigby recently finished adding a second story on to 633 E 63rd St and has several new tenants lined up for the building:

New Strong and Counseling Services LLC  –  counseling

Wize Webz – advertising/web marketing office

Architexture Salon – hair salon

Vijay Home – home furnishings shop/design studio/showroom (Sept opening)

This building is already home to several thriving businesses, including BKS Artisan Ales, Can I Have A Bite?,  and Farm Dog Studios.

Rigby is also renovating additional buildings along E 63rd St,  and is now working on 701 and 751 E 63rd St.  The updates will feature a mid-century modern theme, with green and brown tones and rustic wood; new glass exterior and new plumbing and HVAC.  He’s hoping for more retail and restaurant space here along with office tenants, with a focus on locally owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

If you haven’t been on 63rd St east of Oak lately–take a trip!  Thanks to Butch Rigby, many new businesses and eateries to explore!


Brookside Home Sales Stats-June 2018

We are halfway through the year and Brookside home sales continue to be very strong, especially in the under $500K price range.  Inventory is generally lower than last year.  Here is the single family home sales report for last month, and a YTD comparison for the main Brookside zip code of 64113:

June 2018                                                                               June 2017

Median list price:      $410,000                                Median list price:     $372,000

Median sales price:    $395,000                              Median sales price:  $367,500

No. of homes sold:        39                                        No. of homes sold:   40

Days on market:            19                                         Days on market:     20

The lowest closed sales price last month was $165,375 and the highest was $1.2 million. 

Below is year-to-date comparisons:

Jan-June 2018                                                                  Jan-June 2017

Median list price:      $399,900                                     Median list price:     $375,000

Median sales price:   $390,000                                   Median sales price:   $360,000

No. of homes sold:     141                                            No. of homes sold:      157

Days on market:         14                                               Days on market:          20

The lowest sales price so far in 2018 was $168,500 and the highest was $1.6 million.  Median home prices are up 8% compared to last year!  Will prices drop the second half of the year, when sales traditionally slow down?  Watch this space for the monthly numbers!

Currently there are 61 active single family home listings in Brookside, with half of those priced over $500K; nine listings over $1million.  Median price is $565,000 and 39 days on market.

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


Brookside Home Sales Report – May 2018

Up, up, up….Brookside home values continue to rise in this busy spring/summer buying season.  There is always a lull around Memorial Day..still, due to lack of inventory, prices keep going up because there aren’t enough homes for sale to meet demand, particularly in the under $400K price category.  Here are the home sales stats for May 2018, using the main Brookside zip code of 64113:

May 2018                                                                              May 2017

Median list price:     $374,500                                     Median list price:    $332,500

Median sales price:  $383,500                                   Median sales price:  $341,500

No. of homes sold:      29                                               No. of homes sold:    40

Days on market:          9                                                 Days on market:        4

Homes are still selling in a very short amount of time after they are listed; and sellers are often paying over asking price, possibly due to bidding wars. The highest sale last month was $1.4 million, and the lowest was $221,000–which was $11K over the list price. 

Here are year-to-date stats:

Jan-May 2018                                                                        Jan-May 2017

Median list price:    $399,900                                       Median list price:      $379,995

Median sales price:  $383,500                                   Median sales price:   $360,000

No. of homes sold:      101                                               No. of homes sold:      119

Days on market:         10                                                   Days on market:          18

So far this year,  prices are running 6.5% over the same period last year–and selling quicker.  Currently there are 49 listed single family homes in Brookside, with a median price of $544,000 and 31 days on market. Just 17 of those homes are priced under $400,000.  The lowest list price is $229,000 and highest is $4.25 million.

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

Legendary KC Small Shop Closing Soon

sheehans store

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. 

sheehan peggy




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!

sweet and simple front

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. 

sweet and simple flavors


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. 

sweet and simple


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?

Starbucks inside


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.)