Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What To Do With Westbrooke Village

Just returned from a Christmas trip to Sault Ste Marie, MI.  Beautiful country up there.

Anyway, a recent article in the Shawnee Dispatch http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2014/dec/22/city-business-owners-talk-westbrook-village/
indicates that certain individuals might be interested in feedback as to what to do there.

Well, I'm sure they really don't want my input.  Primarily because I'm not a loudmouthed owner of a one man (or is it two?) commercial real estate operation.  But, I'll give it a try anyway.  :-)  :-)

First, and I've said it many times before, what Shawnee needs is a destination venue.  Something that would attract folks from all over the metro to specifically make it a point to come here.  Small shopping centers, with local oriented businesses are not the answer to true economic growth.

Currently we have a new Holiday Express nearing completion.  This is good as that will give us 3 hotels in the I-435 corridor, and a chance to get some of the bleed off from Village West in KCK which includes the speedway, the soccer stadium, concerts etc.  There also appear to be plans to build two more hotels in the same general area.  That would bring us to five.  Again, that's good. These are mid priced limited service facilities.  We need them.....but we also need a destination venue.  That brings us to my first idea for the Westbrooke Village property.

A full service hotel with a convention center.  The proximity to I-35 could be very helpful.  major conventions could show large amounts of dollar turnover, and would bring in folks from outside the area.  The space could also be used to build businesses that would be complimentary to such a facility.

Idea number two:  An international market place.  This would be comprised of businesses that would reflect original concepts from foreign countries.  And, NOT just restaurants.  Clothing stores, furniture stores, you name it. Things that people in the metro are looking to get from the "old country".  Naturally, this is a basic concept and would need some serious input.  It could be a legacy development for somebody.  Also, any restaurants that were to be part of the concept would have to be non-chain and a serious cap on fast food, if any.

Anyway, there's my two cents.