Glazer: Legends & Village West Becoming Epicenter of Kansas City

In the 60’s the Plaza ruled…

Even though the beautiful, midtown shopping and entertainment district had been around for decades, it hit its stride in the ’60’s. Before that Downtown still was the "it" place in the metro.

But over the last five to 10 years the Plaza has lost many of its visitors, big name local shops and restaurants.

The Plaza started going national with corporate chains in the late 90’s. Since then it’s the moved away from night life and entertainment. For the most part there are no longer any nightclubs on the Plaza. So it’s definitely at bit more, well, quiet.

So whats next for our city?

In the early 2000’s someone had the idea of Kansas City, Kansas going big time.

Really, come on now. With just 13 restaurants and shops in 2005, led by Cheeseburger in Paradise and Famous Dave’s the unthinkable began. Today there are more than 100 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the Village West area, including Legends, a major NASCAR track, a new MLS soccer stadium that will house Sporting Kansas City, a new casino to be named Hollywood Casino, T-Bones baseball stadium, a budding water park, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Cabelas, with more on the way all the time.

Checking aroubnd, I can’t find anything like it in the nation that has all these venues in a single spot.

It’s quite unique.

And this week Legends announced the new Saks Fifth Avenue, new J. Crew Factory and Armour Factory House all coming to Legends this year. All for the upscale Outlet Destination center. Already here are Nike, Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic, BCBGMAXAZRIA and LOFT. Opening in June are Chico’s and Soma Intimates outlet concepts. They join others like American Eagle and Old Navy.

It’s a long list.

You know that old line, "If You build it, will they come?"

With hundreds of millions of dollars spent and more being paid out for new concepts, the answer is YES.

Amy Craft, the five year leader in marketing Legends/Village West says: "It used to be people had to fight the idea of driving out to this area. They weren’t used to it, a new direction for new places. Today it is more in their heads that it’s worth the drive and even the four bucks a gallon gas. Why? Saving money on great products and enjoying fun family and adult entertainment. This is Kansas City’s immediate future."

There are plans for bigger name hotels, apartment complexes and housing.

Cerner is moving into the area with 4,000 employees. They’ll need housing. So will all the new employees coming into the area. And an airport may well be built in the area by 2015.

There’s no doubt this is the city’s next big step into the future.

It’s been a battle, with the economy and location being so new and raw. But one that looks to be a winner over the next couple years.

There are huge concerts and events happening this summer as well. From EMINEM to WILLIE NELSON. All coming to the Village West area.  Who would have thought this possible just 10 years ago even? I didn’t.

Oh yeah, Stanford & Sons is in Legends. They got me. Maybe that’s a good thing.


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33 Responses to Glazer: Legends & Village West Becoming Epicenter of Kansas City

  1. smartman says:

    It Must Be True if Craig Said It?
    Like Max Cady, I can outwork you, I can out-think you and I can out philosophize you!

    The Legends is where the Rockfest Crue, their parents and grandparents hang out the other 364 days a year along with other people that can’t afford a REAL Vacation.

    KCK is still a black-tino shithole. All the European immigrant ethnic enclave charm is NO MAS. Once the EPA leaves downtown and GM shuts down the car plant, and they will, you can turn out the lights.

    It’s all lipstick and a weave on a pig. KCK is Wendy Williams and KCMO is, even with all its’ problems, Oprah.

    In KCK culture means stabbing someone with a steak knife instead of a shiv.

    Speedway is only busy maybe what, 7 days a year? NASCAR is fighting for its’ life right now. TV numbers are down, ticket sales are down, sponsors are pulling out or cutting back. Will be hard until the economy comes back.

    It will be a miracle if Kanrocksas happens. Word is ticket sales are not all that stellar. FARM AID? Big fucking deal. Not what it used to be. First prize is two tickets. Second prize is four!

    Better shopping for name brands can be had in Osage Beach.

    If you love unhealthy artery clogging food it’s the bomb.

    A casino! There’s a novel idea. Airport? Really? More like a landing strip for corporate jets closer to the track than the downtown airport. Good luck on getting the FAA to approve that. Cerner jobs are great but the majority of the employees will NOT live in KCK proper.No fucking way they are gonna send their kids to KCK schools. Are you fucking nuts? You know why they teach ESL, English as a Second Language in KCK schools? CAUSE ENGLISH IS THE SECOND FUCKING LANGUAGE IN KCK SCHOOLS! Actually it’s the THIRD, behind Spanish and Ebonics.

    KCK has been bent over and cornholed more than Nick Wright would be if he checked into Rikers Island.

    New futbol stadium will be a strong draw for about a year. Online kiddie porn is still more popular and profitable in the US than “soccer”

    Wanna see what the Legends is gonna look like in 20 years, drive by Bannister Mall.

    And remember, the most comfortable call you can make, Continental Siding. Call 321-2277 anytime night or day.

  2. Super Dave says:

    Re; Smartman
    He may be closer to the truth than many care to admit.

  3. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Jeez, come on Glazer.
    Shameless self promotion blog. Piss on anything that resides in Kansas. I refuse to frequent that entire area.

  4. kcredsox says:

    Looks like Glazer is trying to squeeze out a fart.

    I think Smartman has hit the nail on the head, I wish it wasn’t true, but how many people actually buy furniture from Nebraska Furniture Mart twice? Our first living room set fell to pieces within about 3 years, won’t buy any furniture there again. They do have good prices on electronics though. But, who wants to make the world’s 2nd richest man even richer, especially when he is donating to the Democrats.

  5. bschloz says:

    Of Edwardsville, Piper, Eudora, Argentine,Bashoer , Lansing, Leavenworth,Tongie—
    I must say I’m excited to go see my first soccer game this year— gotta feeling Sporting KC will find a strong niche $$$ in strong hands.
    Glaze ..I’ll drive out there to see good comedy. Bet you cut a nice deal to go out there. Wish you guys would come back to S.JOCO–
    How bout Sports Bar/Comedy right in the middle of the bubble.

  6. chuck says:

    Smartman nails it again.
    (By the way smartman, I am seeing a rising tide of smartman fans including Greg Hall. Very cool, I am in the smartman army, but gotta tell ya buddy, I fuckin love me some Obama and Sly, and I am bleeding on a lot of issues. I am drinking away my cognitive dissonance, but it is taking more time than I thought, 30 years in…)

    Gotta tell ya Glaze (He and I are very close.) driving to fuckin St Joe for all your old aging buddies (We will always have Paris.) to pay retail for horse shit made in Chinese sweat shops, WAY overpriced TVs, and furniture made of balsa wood is dumber than the Children’s Crusade.

    Cerner sounds like a good deal, and I am in no way qualified to comment on the entertainment industry and the acts you say are coming as relates to profit. In fact, if you say they kick ass, I believe you.

    Here is what I can tell ya.

    Nebraska Furniture Mart came to town with King Midas money, bought the market, forced out local retailers and now PRINTS MONEY LIKE THE US TREASURY.

    Full disclosure, I was in that industry, but have NO AXE TO GRIND. Really. It worked out perfect for me (I didn’t plan a thing, shit fell into my lap.).

    When Nebraska first arrived, they sold electronics at 8% over landed cost. I know this, and I am not gonna bore ya with the bona fides, it is what it is, I knew exact landed cost, including DFI for advertising, 30, 60 and 90 day pays, co op, buy ten get one, etc etc….that would relate to a 25 million dollar a year company. Keep in mind, Nebraska Furniture Mart, by way of Bershire Fuckaway has economic Panzer Tank in Poland type of sway. “Ach du lieber, are those horses?”

    One more time, I am NOT pissing down Ayn Rand’s leg, or the free market, it is what it is. Its 101 Adam Smith economics. Profit margins and money, never sleep, retail customers do.

    8%. They were so strong, they sunk a few electronics DISTRIBUTORS!

    They “bought” the market, killed off the competition and now post 30% profits in VIDEO!!


    In electronics, audio and video, the standard mark up, based on competition in this area (Ask Kiefer Hearne, he was able to post a little better margn through the years by way of his Lawrence location, but I bet he was at 20 on Video and 35 to 45 points on Audio) through years was 10 to 15 points on video and 35 to 40 on audio.

    I will give ONE example (Once again, I am not pissed, I am lucky, and I am just trying to tell ya what your paying at the pump.), when 60″ Plasmas hit the market, after Nebraska ran out the competition, you could buy a LG 60″ (Nice TV) for ca. $2,000.00 at a distributor, which means it was around $1650.00 for Nebraska, and they sold it for $3,000.00. God bless ’em.

    STOP! This is an example, it holds true then, it holds true now, I don’t want to argue about specifics (“Chuck, I bought this for $______.00 and its was a great deal.” Ok, god love ya, I am jsut trying to help here.) because this is a premise based on my experience and knowlege.

    Nebraska is a classic boiler room sales floor now, the sales guys sell what they are told to, make no money on actual products and in fact will be fired if they do not sell a certain percentage of “Cables, accesories and Add Ons”.

    There are actually high quality sales guys there, but whay you end up purchasing, through them, is dictated by profit, NOT quality.

    Lets clarify here for a moment.

    A customer will have to try really hard these days, not to get a big bang for his buck, even if he buys nothing but fuckin Sampo, Sanyo and Signature shit (By the Way, Mitsubishi Tvs are really fucked these days. No handshake, shit components, and repeat repairs.). The customer is in the cat bird seat when it comes to the difference in picture, sound and quality, vis a vis 15 years ago.

    That said, if you can buy a great product for less, its the American way to try.

    My basic premise is, Kansas City customers now drive a long way to pay a lot more, for electronics (And, I am going to assume, furniture et al.).

    Once again, thank you Nebraska for making me so independent.

    Now, here it is, buying products from Nebraska Furniture Mart, means you will drive a long way, to pay retail (DONT BELIEVE MFG SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICING! Nebraska OWNS the factories, dictates pricing by way of their power of purchase-Think Wallmart in Electronics and Furniture. The Reps used to go to Omaha and sit like 1st graders in time our, waiting and hoping to make a sale.) and you should know BEFORE you even leave, what you want to buy, because if the sales guys actually tell ya the truth about what they think, they are fuckin GONE!

    Nebraska Furniture Mart is NOT evil, there is nothing illegal going on, there is just profit.

    Just mail a check to them, and ask them to send you what they want. You will save, at least, the gas.

  7. chuck says:

    bschloz can tell ya if its a good investment.
    Sergeant Saunders can tell ya if you should “take the point Kirby”.

  8. chuck says:

    I am so windy, sorry.
    But I gotta believe, this just occurred to me, that the only fuckin place I would ever even THINK about buying electronics at this point, would be Kiefs in Lawrence.

    The drive is the same, and that fucker was untouched by Nebraska, and, I would guess still does business the same way.

    $50.00 says he will sell you what he thinks is good or great (Still make his profit.) and you will get an honest deal.

    He is a grouchy fucker, but buying there might be the last place in this city, to get a “Bricks and Mortor” sale, with hands on expertise from knowledgeable people that don’t have guns to their heads.


  9. Markus Aurelius says:

    $1000.00 says it wouldn’t be CG’s epicenter if
    he didn’t have a business located there that is dependent upon him selling the area as the new ‘epicenter’.

    This is advertising/marketing wrapped in the guise of an opinion piece.

  10. Markus Aurelius says:

    Chuck — nice work!
    Love hearing the inside skinny of this part of the retail industry. Good stuff.

  11. chuck says:


  12. smartman says:

    It’s not me brother. It’s the TRUTH! People like hearing it Nathan Jessup style with a little sardonic flavoring.

    If I can confuse, amuse and entertain my fellow man then Amen Halelujah to me. It ain’t curing cancer or solving the debt crisis but it’s the Lord’s work nonetheless.

    Shine On!

  13. Rainbow Man says:

    smartman is half right
    KCK will send out a media release and have a ribbon cutting if they buy a new dog catcher truck. They do hype up everything they do.

    But… I am not so sure to predict the Bannister fate for the Legends. Its pretty diversified out there. They are not dependent on one thing succeeding at Legends. The crucial event will be the 4000 Cerner employees. That changes everything.

    KCK has a lot of solidarity. KCMO has infighting. KCK would have given the Royals the land to build downtown and probably free utilities. KCMO can’t even operate a train station. Rich WYCO people hang out with poor WYCO people. Rich KCMO people don’t speak to common folk.

    Don’t count out KCK..

  14. JimmyD says:

    Our bet was you having Wright and myself taking KK. You said Wright would be beating KK in six months. He most certainly was not. You asked for bet takers and I jumped on it. You don’t remember?

  15. craig glazer says:

    So? Didn’t he win?
    Looks like the numbers show Nick won! No, explain. About KCK, people who don’t agree….it ain’t no Bannister Mall, that went black. It didn’t have any of these bigtime spots, RACETRACK,CASINO,BALLPARK,SOCER STADIUM, Nation name stores by the truckload, on and on, no comparison. I think in ten years, Legends/Village West will rule. Yes we need more people living out this way, that will happen. When it does, Oak Park to the tenth power. As far as comments by smartman putting down these people as HICKS, well guess what my friend Kansas City is based on this group of people, not your type or mine for that matter. So call them what you will, but they are the ‘silent majority’ in KC. So yeah, lets be more clear, “the salt of the Earth”….dig it. They count, ask 98.9 The Rock. Number one for a reason. By the way for those of you who think their ‘buyers’ don’t spend, ads on Dare cost from 200-400 a minute, also number one in the market, and oh yeah, those are sold out! So you are wrong, they do spend. Get with the program people. Harley I expect you to back me up one more time here. Or no? What do you say, is Legends/Village West the big spot future of KC?

  16. Bad Ass Jew, Berkowitz says:

    Glazer You Called It Right, Again
    You hit it on the head here Glazer. Kansas City is not Chicago or LA or New York, nor are the people who live here. They will love Legends even more as time moves forward. Its not my cup of tea, but I do get it. Is it the SPOT of the future for this city, its starting to look that way, yes. I love the Plaza and JOCO, but thats me.

  17. Monkey Man says:

    Legends is Prejudice
    They ran the brothers outta of there. Why? I like Dave and Busters though.

  18. smartman says:

    Glazed Over
    Cities are defined by the people that live in them. Pull your head out of your ass and take a drive from 435, east into the heart of KCK on Leavenworth Road, then head back west on Parallel to 435, then head back east again on State Avenue down to 5th. Make a right and head up to Minnesota Ave to 38th. Go visit Wyandotte, Washington or Schlagle High Schools. Tell me what you see. It doesn’t look much like The Legends does it?

    The promise of prosperity for KCK from the Legends hasn’t made its’ way east yet. It NEVER will! KCK has a big head at The Legends but stands on very wobbly feet.

    Too many tax breaks and too many giveaways. It will never payoff or pay back. The city mortgaged its’ long term future for a short term gang bang that looked good on paper but like most deals was premised on false projections, kinda like The Power and Light District.

    No one “aspires” to live in KCK. Most people live there because they have to not because they want to.

    KCK has an aging population, low per capita household income and lots of social problems from racism to literacy.

    All the development at The Legends is like an episode of Extreme Makeover. Looks good, feels good but after the cameras stop rolling the obligations for care and feeding still remain. The city and the state of Kansas for that matter bit off more than they can chew.

    Johnson County and Overland Park have a far more sustainable business model when it comes to fueling business growth and developement. It’s certainly based on more than a bunch of fucking minimum wage jobs and sucking Warren Buffets flacid cock at The Legends.

    A lot can and will happen in the next 20 years in KCK. It won’t be good. Like the Rolling Stones, Time is on My Side!

  19. bschloz says:

    Going To Kansas City, KS
    Or as they say in LaCyne…I think I’m a gonna drive out to the Speedway and get me one of them IPODS.
    Me I’m a Best Buy guy all the way…I’m all about the Sammy’s for TV’s, phones and monitors.
    Went to Best Buy at half time of a Giants game last year …went in– found 40″ Samsung LCD…offering 18 months no Interest.
    Applied and got approved in 5 minutes…put TV in car and drove home…watched the 4th QTR. Didn’t even get a bill for like 60 days. Financial engineering at its finest. So this is our export….I’m sure they will love this game in North Africa.
    Meanwhile back on the ranch $GS is currently getting punched in the cock ..don’t know what it means?? maybe a little pause in the action….Holy shit.

  20. downtown davey says:

    KCK Gives it Away
    Glazer you are right on one level. They are grabbing all business deals. So yeah its growing. We’ll see. I am upset that downtown is kinda not growing as we were told, but time will tell.

  21. snappietom says:

    KCK Legends
    I am not hating on KCK and the Legends. I think that it’s great that there is some development going on out there and its good for the overall Kansas City package. (and yes Craig is self promoting the area due to his comedy club being there) He has to “give away” tickets for people to show up.

    But hold on KCK, what about fixing your downtown problem. Talk about a freaking unsafe area. You could catch a knife in your ass just blocks from the police station. Don’t forget about those problems instead of focusing on all the new things going on at the Legends.

  22. rocko says:

    went househunting in western KCK 2 years ago

    no thanks

    trust me – even more educated than me Cerner types will work there – bu not live there.

  23. smartman says:

    Turds of a Feather Flock Together
    Well, well, well, the GOD Couple have spoken, once again more with bluster than with facts.

    Harley, the two 18 year old Thai boys you met from the Barely Legal escort service are not “Vegas Insiders”. Your relatives playing with their balls is not an endorsement of soccer. There has been no government private enterprise partnership in KCK. It’s been more like hey bitches, you’ve not NOTHING happening so let’s scramble some numbers and shove this shit down the pipeline while we can.

    KCK is rotting at the core. The development at The Legends has done nothing to improve the quality of life for the average resident. For the most part the city is being held together morally, culturally and socially by a still influential group of Catholic Churches and their aging parishoners. From St. John the Baptist on the eastern end to St. Patricks on the west.

    White flight still continues out of KCK and in the next decade or so whites will be a minority in that community.

    The KCK ghetto is rapidly expanding west. The area from 38th to 79th, once considered the affluent part of the city is the new ghetto.

    Just like Westport and Bannister Mall the black-tinos will infiltrate The Legends and run WHITEY off. It’s a powderkeg getting ready to blow. When it does it’ll make the Plaza Wilding’s look like an episode of Torey Time.

  24. harley says:

    smartman…not so smart…actually f*cking idiot
    Glaze is saying that the legend is getting hot. We weren’t talking about kck which we all
    know is having problems but thats not the subject.
    Had you put your glasses on after jacking off you would have seen this.
    The subject was about the legends and how it’s grown and howit is becoming a
    huge economic engine in the area. So you stupid asshole should have read the
    comments and seen what we were talking about.
    The legends is booming. KCK i have no idea about because i don’t frequent it
    but the legends should be creating jobs for the people in the area which is a
    good thing.
    So my comments and my sources were valid.
    You have become the biggest idiot on here. Your comment lacks any facts and
    doesnt pertain to our conversation.
    so please stfu and go back to grandmas house for cookies.
    If you had something funny and pertinent to say that wasn’t pure stupidity it
    might be entertaining but you are wearing thin.
    NO facts…no humor….you’re just some idiot who thinks he knows everything
    but knows nothing.]
    If you feel my comment was incorrect or you have facts to refute what i
    said ABOUT THE LEGENDSbring them up and we can discuss them in depth.
    til then…go F yourself.

  25. Rainbow Man says:

    smartman did his homework
    in reading smartman… it is obvious he is not shooting from the hip when it comes to the plight of the dotte… when you can drop st. john’s and st. pat’s lines, you know the deal. makes me think smartman may even be a dotte himself…. the bishop ward crew does still run wyco… but… it used to be very corrupt and it is not so much anymore. the corrupt cronies are either dying off… or being pursued by the wyco district attorney… also a ward guy. he is not a crony. the legends is rocking and has great promise… and it is close to kci… a lot of corporate growth is on its way. the predictions are easy to make… but the fact is… the legends is where the action is right now… no other metro area has even near the same commercial growth.

  26. BarKeeper says:

    Willie and Eminem
    Willie: no comment.
    Eminem, or whatever he is, is a scrawny-assed, poser bastard from St. Joe who couldn’t whip a seventh grade girl but acts like a bad street dude. Anyone who ever paid one cent for his alleged music should be caned in a public place.

  27. Dude says:

    My Friends
    I live in the DOT, have for l5 years. Its gotten much better and alot thanks to Village West and Legends. Crime is down, cause they want to protect that investment. It’s working. Hey all they need to do is build up scale housing around the area. They will and that will solve the problem for the most part.

  28. KU Forever says:

    More to come
    Yeah it ain’t perfect yet, but what is? Only KU is perfect.

  29. jjskck says:

    Glazer’s point is about the Legends/Village West, and while I think it will be a huge tourist draw for years to come, I don’t think it will ever be a true “epicenter” for metro residents. The area is empty Monday-Thursday because there isn’t enough population density to support all the restaurants (many of which have long since closed), and the retail tenant mix is more “destination” shopping (tourists) than local shoppers.

    To comment on other commenters: The development has certainly been a good thing for KCK as a whole, but it has NOT benefitted the average KCK lower-middle-class resident. Little has changed east of 435 (or 94th street, if you count Schlitterbahn). The crime situation has NOT improved (though it’s never been as bad as the reputation would suggest), nor have the schools.

    The nice houses west of 435 cost the same as those in western Shawnee or Olathe, but with substantially higher taxes. Most people are going to choose a house with lower taxes, better everyday amenities, and better schools over a similarly-priced house in the Piper district.

  30. craig glazer says:

    Interesting Comments
    First off, as many of you mentioned, Legends/Village West of course has been a great thing for KCK. Not the housing/apartments/hotels are not where they need to be yet. In time that will come. I agree that in the next 3-5 years up scale areas will be built to support this billion plus entertainment/shopping district. While crime may not be down much in the KCK in general, the police have done a great, great job at the Legends/Village West, which is nearly crime free. Almost no major crime since it opened on the property area, compared with Westport,Plaza etc…they are tough on troublemakers or people who look that way. I think, as I stated the future is bright for this area, but it is in the future. Right now business is slow during the weekdays as it is everywhere fo the most part. That will climb as people move out this way and again that will happen over the next few years. Time will tell.

  31. W Jones says:

    Violent crime in KCK has been cut in half in the last 10 years, which is half of what it was 10 years before. So, Crime is 1/4 of what it was 20 years ago.

  32. jjskck says:

    W Jones
    You’re right – violent crime has decreased significantly in the last 20 years in KCK. I retract my previous statement.

  33. Ted Tedderson says:

    Its like Bannister Mall in its hey day! It has everything!

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