Ahoy there, maties…
Loosen those barnacles and gather round while I tell a see-faring tale about Trader Joe’s ongoing aventures along the shores of Leawood. That upscale local burb famous for its proud stewardship of the color beige, wood shingle roofs and other eye-pleasing aesthetics.
Both Trader Joe’s in Leawood and Ward Parkway Center opened this past July.
But unlike its shipmates on the MU side of State Line, TJ’s Leawood landlubbers were trapped off base on two counts.
For starters, there’s no parking for TJ’s 70 shipmates at the trendy new One Nineteen center, and the sea dogs must park at other nearby centers, then be ferried over by by RED Development land schooners that run every 10 minutes on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
That’s because parking is tight at One Nineteen, and with new businesses about to open it’s not gonna get any better.
"When this property fills up, it’s going to be a nightmare," says Trader Joe’s first mate Jerry Arns.
Problem No. 2 involves a controversy over an imaginary Leawood law prohibiting shopping cart corrals
According to numerous Trader Joe’s staffers, Leawood doesn’t allow the corrals in parking lots anymore because they’re unsightly. However, Hen House to the north in Camelot Court has them as the store was supposedly "grandfathered in."
But avast now hearties, because that nare be true, says Richard Coleman, Leawood’s director of community development.
"There’s not an ordinance preventing it," Coleman says. "They (just) haven’t made a formal request to make a revision to their development plan. We don’t have a problem with it, they just need to make an application and they haven’t."
Best set sail soon before too many of those bright red TJ shopping carts sail into the sides of the many Mercedes and Jaguar cars overflowing Trader Joe’s sardine tight parking lot.
"We’re on a 15 degree, downhill grade," Arns says. "So if someone leaves a cart up by Sullivan’s, by the time it gets to our building it’s probably going to be going 10 miles-per-hour."