All those West Bottoms warehouses chock full of pretty vintage stuff. Where does it come from and how does it get there? Via vendors, of course.
As a rule, each warehouse holds one flea market, and each flea market leases space to dozens of vendors, more than 600 in all. (Some warehouses, like the Painted Sofa andVarnish & Vine, are one-vendor boutiques.)
And those vendors spend a good portion of their waking hours finding, fixing, painting, creating and artfully staging their merchandise. The first weeks immediately after the monthly First Friday sales are spent hunting, then turning the items into something to covet. Gary and Sally Paredes, vendors at Good JuJu, work seven days a week to stock their space. They estimate that they spend 30 percent of that time shopping at garage, yard and estate sales, as well as auctions. The other 70 percent is spent fixing things up. Sometimes they find stuff on the curb, especially on days when municipalities do bulk pickup and residents put out their unwanted furniture. “I found pieces of a table on a curb one time; I put it back together and got $200 for it,” Gary says. “We see chests of drawers sitting out all the time, and they’re solid wood, so we stop and grab them,” Sally says. “We find old workbenches, and we clean them up and wax them and people use them as kitchen islands. Garage sales are OK, but you have to go to a lot to find just a few things. I really like estate sales because I can get a look at a lot of things at one time.” Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/living/home-garden/article85288352.html#storylink=cpy
Boulevardia comes to the West Bottoms POSTED 12:35 PM, JUNE 17, 2016 BY FOX 4 NEWSROOM
June 17-19 in the historic West Bottoms, crowds will gather for Boulevardia, an event 'rich in beer, food, music and.... bacon, contests, family, Father's day, local art, laughter, food trucks, Greenville, surprises, friends." Jessica Paige joined us on the FOX 4 Morning Show for a brief performance and to talk about her career as a musician. Paige will be on the Greenville Acoustic Stage at 9:20 Friday night.
Developer closes on six-pack of West Bottoms buildings Mar 7, 2016
MCM Co. Inc., a Cleveland-based development firm, has closed on the former Abernathy Furniture complex, which includes six contiguous buildings in Kansas City's West Bottoms. Dating to 1889, the brick-and-timber warehouse buildings are located southwest of Ninth and Liberty streets in the historic district, which has been experiencing a re-emergence due to recent redevelopment efforts. Six historic West Bottoms buildings formerly occupied by the Abernathy Furniture Co. are…more ROB ROBERTS | KCBJ Containing a total of roughly 178,000 square feet, the Abernathy complex is immediately west of the Hobbs Building, 1427 W. Ninth St., which developersAdam Jones and Jeff Krum transformed into 40 art studios over nonprofit offices and a popular ground-floor event space. To the immediate south of the Abernathy complex, at 911 Wyoming St., developer Wayne Reeder is planning toconvert another old warehouse into loft apartments. Melissa Ferchill, president of MCM Co. Inc., declined to say what use or uses her firm is planning for the former Abernathy buildings prior to a meeting about the project with Kansas City officials that is set for Wednesday. INTERACTIVE MAP: Crane Watch: What's being built in the Kansas City area According to its website, MCM Co. Inc. specializes in the adaptive reuse and renovation of historic buildings as well as health care, education and bio-research projects. Pat Murfey of Evergreen Real Estate Services was the listing broker for the buildings. They were listed for a total of $1.3 million, but the purchase price has not been disclosed.
How Kansas City's West Bottoms Went From Vacant To Vibrant ByCODY NEWILL•AUG 13, 2014
Within the old bones of big brick buildings like the Columbia Burlap & Bag Co., in Kansas City's West Bottoms, new businesses, artist studios and restaurants are finding success in an area that still looks like it belongs in the late 1800s.
One spot that's finding particular success is the 12th Street Bridge and the surrounding buildings. First Friday "Warehouse Weekends" and antique shops bring in thousands of visitors each month.
But it wasn't always this way. In fact, parts of the West Bottoms were practically deserted for nearly 40 years.
An industrial hub and the Great Flood of 1951 When it was founded in 1871, the West Bottoms quickly became the center of Kansas City's livestock and meat packing industries. Even though the area experienced frequent flooding from the surrounding Kansas and Missouri Rivers, it still managed to stay active for 80 years.
The downfall of the West Bottoms came quickly and unexpectedly. From May to July 1951, record rainfalls caused catastrophic flooding along the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. Cities across eastern Kansas and Missouri were wiped out as flood waters flowed east towards St. Louis.
Since the West Bottoms sits directly on both rivers, it was hit the hardest. Flood waters put nearly two million acres of land underwater, ruining virtually all the businesses in the area. CBS radio broadcaster Jim Burke described the devastation.
"To those of you who have never witnessed a flood and the resultant effects, let me tell you, it's a sickening sight," Burke reported. "The area is a sea of filth and muck, which, in depth, must be at least 12 inches."
The Great Flood of 1951 shut down the West Bottoms for the next 40 years. Kemper Arena would bring some activity back to the area after opening in 1974, but most of the buildings north of it remained derelict until the early 1990s.
The tides turn for the Bottoms One of the big turning points for the West Bottoms was the haunted houses. Full Moon Productions decided to relocate "The Edge of Hell" to the Bottoms in 1988. Rezoning forced the company out of its original downtown building, and the vacant, creepy vibe of the West Bottoms seemed like the perfect fit.
Full Moon Productions Vice President Amber Arnett-Bequeaith says that it took a lot of hands-on work by her company and others to get the West Bottoms where it is today.
"Everyone thinks, 'Why didn't I see the diamond in the rough before?'" Arnett-Bequeaith said. "This has been years and years and years of work."
Rancher and real estate developer Bill Haw came to the West Bottoms around the same time as Full Moon Productions. He moved his ranching business into the old Livestock Exchange in 1991 and started courting other businesses to join him. Livestock Exchange property manager Kerry Amigoni says that the stigma of the Bottoms was hard for some business owners to overcome.
"Initially, it was just getting them to even come look," Amigoni said of the challenges. "Not a lot of brokers brought down people, so it really had to be word of mouth."
The West Bottoms today Successful businesses have started to bring in festivals and the arts as well. In June, Boulevard held its inaugural Boulevardia Festival under the 12th Street Bridge, and Gay Pride Kansas City held its festival in the Bottoms for the first time.
Keli O'Neill Wenzel, executive director for Boulevardia, said that the urban grit of the West Bottoms was a big factor in the festival's success.
"When we saw the people coming down, [they] were excited about the event," O'Neill Wenzel said. "But the space is truly what I feel like people got very excited about."
Despite these successes, there are still areas of the Bottoms that are struggling. Since the Sprint Center opened in 2007, Kemper Arena has hemorrhaged $500,000 of city money per year. The American Royal currently holds a lease on the arena until 2045 and wants to see the arena demolished in order to build a smaller facility.