2018: It Was A Good Year for Brookside/Waldo

Welcome to 2019!  I hope you are having a relaxing and healthy holiday season. Since this is the first blog of the year, I’m going to recap some 2018 highlights for the Brookside/Waldo area.  It was a successful twelve months for our neighborhood!

Brookside muralMany new businesses opened, and most of them are locally owned and operated. In the heart of Brookside along 63rd St, Sweet and Simple is a new edible cookie dough treat shop,  and LadyBye offers reasonably priced women’s  clothes and accessories for those interested in classic style.  Brookside Barrio and Brookside Poultry Company are two new popular eateries.    Brookside East continues to attract local  entrepreneurs, with the opening of Flying Horse Taproom, Chanee Vijay textiles, BKS Artisan Ales and Architexture SalonPlate plans to reopen in April at 701 E 63rd St.    Brookside also got an additional stoplight/crosswalk on 63rd by the new Starbucks, and everyone loves the new large wall mural celebrating Brookside on the north side of the CVS building.   Unfortunately, we had a couple of store closings:  Sheehan’s Irish Imports on Gregory *due to owner retiring) and Shop Beautiful will close this month as the owners focus on the Overland Park location.

There were several changes in the Waldo area as well:  Euston Hardware remodeled; Dodson’s Bar and Commons opened on Wornall just north of 75th St and Classic Cookie opened for evening dining with an Italian themed menu.  The never ending road construction along Wornall is at a temporary halt but not for long…expansive (and much needed changes) are planned for the 75th and Wornall intersection to make it more pedestrian friendly.  Next year will also see the renovation of the “Wornall Village” shopping area at the northwest corner of 85th and Wornall, starting with a revamped Price Chopper.

frontA wonderful community asset opened in 2018:  HJ’s Youth and Community Center, across from St Andrew’s church.  This space is used for community events, private receptions, classes, meetings and hosts a  small coffee shop open to everyone.  It also features a large lawn on the east side for outdoor movie nights, plus a doggie and human water station!

And what about home values?  That’s an interesting story as well.  Waldo is beating out Brookside in terms of rising home prices:  as of the end of November, Waldo home values were up 15% and Brookside saw a 3% increase.  I will report on twelve month figures later in the month when the stats are ready.  Brookside and Waldo are still very desirable locations for homebuyers.

I’m not going to make any firm predictions about this year…but I will say…. Brookside is celebrating it’s 100 year anniversary as a shopping/services/residential neighborhood.  I think both Brookside and Waldo will continue to attract local businesses and  homebuyers of all ages as we head into century 2!

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New Wall Mural in Brookside!

Brookside mural

Have you noticed the new outdoor wall mural in Brookside??  It perfectly captures the friendly, welcoming spirit of our neighborhood.

First Washington Realty, the company that owns the commercial real estate on the north side of 63rd St between Wornall and Brookside Blvd, commissioned the work by Ruthie Ozonoff.  The mural was created is in conjunction with the 100 year anniversary of our neighborhood shops.  The postcard format is ideal for photos, and I especially like the Brookside gas lamp as the ‘stamp’ in the upper right corner–one of Brookside’s most distinctive features. 

Ruthie is from Kansas City and grew up in Brookside.  When she was ten years old, her family moved to Lawrence to be closer to family.  Ruthie went to KU, studying illustration and animation.  She created a few murals in the Kansas City area that you may have seen:  the “Kansas City I’m So In Love” mural at 2010 McGee and the “Where Kansas City Plays” mural, commissioned by KC Parks and Rec, in the West Bottoms.  First Washington saw her work on Etsy and contacted her about the Brookside piece. It was Ruthie’s idea to use a postcard template. 

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Ruthie Ozonoff

Ruthie started painting at the beginning of November, and it took about two weeks to complete the project—delayed mostly by weather.  It’s located on the north facing wall, north of  CVS (6244 Brookside Blvd) —right by the alley that goes behind the shops.  You can easily see the mural driving south on Brookside Blvd just before 63rd St.  “Doing this mural was  an honor.  Growing up, I wanted to make people happy with my artwork—and it feels great to give back to my historic hometown community.”

You can find Ruthie’s work on her Facebook and Etsy pages, or check it out on Instagram-@designedbyruthie.  She’s currently living in Colorado, working as a freelance designer and a personal trainer/coach.  She says “After sitting at the computer for several hours working on illustrations and graphic design, I like to go to the gym and work out; shake off the pent up energy!”

The next time you are stopping in near the shops–perhaps for a Roasterie coffee or to pick up a few holiday gifts–look for the mural.  And thanks to First Washington Realty for bringing this artwork to Brookside for all to enjoy!

Dodson’s Bar Opens in Waldo

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Looking for a new place to meet friends for a drink during this holiday season?  Try Waldo’s newest bar, Dodson’s Bar and Commons at 7438 Wornall.  I stopped by last week to check it out and chat with “’smooth operator and Assistant General Manager” Eric Jones.

 

 

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Dodson’s opened on September 12, site of the former Waldo Bar.  It has a relaxed feel, with plenty of table and lounge seating.   TVs line the walls, there’s a shuffleboard and Nintendo game, and the modern lighting isn’t  too bright.  The long bar offers 75% local and regional beers, plus several classic cocktails.  Besides the traditional Old Fashioned and Moscow Mule, many patrons try the Suffering Bastard—invented in the 1940s as a hangover cure says Eric—with gin, bourbon, lemon juice, ginger beer and bitters.  During the colder winter months, Eric plans to  add a hot toddy featuring Waldo honey.

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Dodson’s isn’t offering food just yet, but they do have happy hour every day from 4-7pm: all draft beers are $3 and house cocktails are $5.  Dodson’s is probably open when you are ready for a beverage and some good conversation—hours are every day from 4pm to 3am.  Parking is in the back of the building—the back entrance is hidden by a wooden fence so remember to walk through the alley to slip in the rear door. The front entrance is just north of Pickleman’s at 7438 Wornall.

Eric explained the name of the bar came from the trolley that connected Waldo and Westport (Dodson’s).  They added the Commons to emphasize a “gathering of like minds coming together”. He added “We are incredibly stoked to be in Waldo” because of all the local businesses that support each other and the residents that frequent locally owned businesses.

Stop by Dodson’s over the holiday season and welcome them to our neighborhood!

Holiday Shopping Season Kicks Off Tonight in Brookside

Brookside holiday opener

Today is  the Annual Holiday Season Opener to kick off the shopping season in Brookside!  Starting at 5pm stroll through the Brookside shops and check out the special deals and discounts.

Be sure to stop by and check out the live music and  local schools’ children’s choirs getting you in the holiday spirit–from 6:30-7:30pm at the small park west of Starbucks on 63rd St.  There will be giveaways as well, plus refreshments from The Roasterie, Price Chopper and Michael Forbes.

Thank you for supporting our locally owned Brookside businesses during the holiday shopping season!  This event extends through Sunday!

Waldo Home Sales Stats-Sept 2018

And the Waldo home values keep rising in 2018….so much demand, not enough inventory.  Here are the single family home sales stats for last month, using the boundaries of Gregory, 85th St, State Line and Holmes Road:

Sept 2018                                                                         Sept 2017

Median list price:     $195,000                                   Median list price:      $190,000

Median sales price:    $195,000                                Median sales price:    $202,000

No. of homes sold:       33                                          No. of homes sold:     33

Days on market:          30                                            Days on market:        10

The lowest sales price last month was $97,500 and the highest was $425,500.

Checking year-to-date numbers:

Jan-Sept 2018                                                                  Jan-Sept 2017

Median list price:     $198,000                                    Median list price:    $175,000

Median sales price:   $199,000                                  Median sales price:  $179,900

No. of homes sold:     305                                           No. of homes sold:    309

Days on market:         19                                             Days on market:       12

Number of homes sold and days on market are fairly consistent; prices are up over 10% compared to last year.  Currently there are 39 single family homes for sale in Waldo, with an average list price of $210,000 and 35 days on market.  The lowest list price is $85,000 and the highest is $415,000.

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

Another New Small Business Opens in Brookside East

Specialty small businesses make Brookside and Waldo thrive as a unique residential and shopping district.  Today’s blog post welcomes a newcomer located in the growing Brookside East area:  Chanee Vijay Textiles Studio and Showroom moved into the former Golden and Pine space at 633 E 63rd St, suite 100 last month.

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Chanee Vijay

Owner Chanee Vijay, a Kansas native, started her career in corporate marketing.  She always had a creative side that needed an outlet…so she started creating beautiful patterns on organically grown fabric with screen and block printing.  She sold the hand printed textiles through her Etsy shop, and as the business grew, through her own website.  When Better Homes and Gardens magazine featured her work and home in Charlotte, NC, the business really took off.

She moved back to KC from California, where her studio was in the garage.  Chanee was thrilled to secure a larger studio space with a retail showroom here in Brookside.  She explained:  “Over the past ten years, my husband and I have moved five times, and I’ve never had enough space to display my designs.  I love the creative energy and entrepreneurial culture I’ve found in Brookside East.  Now I have the space to welcome clients and increase production for new wholesale clients”.

chanee colorsThe organic hemp and linen fabrics are imported from Europe; then Chanee hand paints her designs in micro batches using water-based, solvent-free inks.  Her mom, Phyllis, sews the pillows, throws, tote bags, pouches, aprons, napkins and tablecloths displayed in the store.  The hand-mixed colors are muted earth tones with all designs uniquely hers.  Every piece is designed for longevity and is machine washable!  Chanee can  customize the pillow designs by color, size and ground cloth type.  Prices range from $40-$175, with designer trade discounts available. 

Because all of the products are created in this working studio, the showroom is only open to the public on Thursdays from 10-5 and by appointment (via the website,).  Hopefully the showroom hours will expand next year.  chanee windows

Unique accessories can ‘make’ the room decor–if you are looking for some fresh textiles to warm up your space (or need a handmade, one of a kind gift!)  stop in and see what’s on display at Chaney’s shop.  You can also see her work  via her instagram account @chaneevijay.

Waldo Home Sales Report-Aug 2018

Waldo home values up again..I think I’ve been reporting that every month this year I share the stats!  August was no exception. Here is the single family Waldo home sales report for August 2018, using the boundaries of State Line to Holmes and Gregory to 85th St:

August 2018                                                              August 2017

Median list price:    $198,000                                Median list price:    $176,000

Median sales price:   $192,000                              Median sales price:  $179,000

No. of homes sold:      37                                        No. of homes sold:   34

Days on market:         28                                         Days on market:    9

The lowest sales price last month was $108,500 and the highest was $355,000.

Here are year-to-date stats:

Jan-Aug 2018                                                      Jan-Aug 2017

Median list price:    $199,975                          Median list price:    $175,000

Median sales price:   $202,750                        Median sales price:   $177,500

No. of homes sold:    266                                 No. of homes sold:     272

Days on market:        16                                    Days on market:     14

Prices are up 14% over last year, and many buyers continue to pay over list price.  Houses continue to go under contract within about two weeks of hitting the market. Waldo is a hot neighborhood!

Currently there are 30 active single family listings, with a median list price of $217,000 and 33 days on market.

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