It’s official; the courtship is o-v-e-r…
Now that Shawnee music emporium Vinyl Renaissance has announced intentions to open a second store on 39th Street in Midtown, the chances of ressurrecting the old Pennyland/Streetside location in Westport proper is deader than Liz Taylor.
"As far as Streetside Records goes…let sleeping dogs lie," reads VR’s Facebook post annoucing the new digs yesterday. "We’re all excited about the new store and look forward to seeing everyone on Record Store Day April 16!! Thanks to everyone for their patience and support."
Not that negotiations for Streetside’s space didn’t go down before it all fell apart…
Employees at both Streetside (before it closed in January) and Vinyl Renaissance were abuzz with the prospect of it reopening. And some Streetside staffers had high hopes it might reopen as Pennylane Records, Streetside’s predecessor. But while negotiations went on and rumors flew, VR’s management clouded the potential deal with a non-denial denial.
So how close did VR come to making a deal to open in Westport?
Former Pennylane owner Hal Brody – the current owner of the building – did not return a call in time for this story.
But shortly after Streetside’s closing, a giant, handmade sign went up in the front window of Brody’s building advising record customers to "Visit Vinyl Renaissance" at its Shawnee Mission Parkway digs.
Something was up; something positive appeared to be afoot.
Whatever happened, Brody was spotted back in town from California earlier this year, asking questions about Westport’s rather lofty Community Improvement District property tax surcharge. The CID adds a considerable percentage load to property owners in Westport to pay for upkeep and area improvements.
Brody went to a meeting, asked about the CID and gave the impression the building might be rented or sold.
Whether or not the CID property tax hit was the deal killer remains unknown.
However the CID property tax surcharges can ranges from as little as 10% above the regular property tax bill on small retailers to double the property taxes for bars with dance floors and 3 a.m. liquor licenses.
The $64 million question in this deafening silence: Is Vinyl Renaissance’s visit-us-in-Shawnee sign still up in Brody’s front window? Or does it now good-naturedly read, "Visit Us on 39th Street?"
"The sign’s still up," says a neighbor in Westport.