Kansas City Needs More Retail

Driving around Kansas City, you see all of these little retail villages start to pop up. You know the ones, where a developer takes a plot of farmland with the topography of a saltine and turns it into a new Main Street that looks like it was built by theater students at UMKC. These endearing new old towns are trying to recreate the feeling of days gone by, where Ma and Pa loaded up the wagon and moseyed into town to buy flour at the general store. While they were there they could pick up some feed for the chickens and mail a letter back to the East.

The juxtaposition is rich, since suburbanites fled the cities years ago to escape the congestion and chaos of the city, only to create years later the very thing they escaped in the first place.  It feeds into the identity crisis that Kansas Citians have faced their whole lives. We want to be a big city but we like the small town feel except we need to “feel” bigger than we are because we have low city esteem.

Meanwhile, you cannot drive one mile within the metro area without running into a strip mall, a parking lot, a Starbucks, or a gaggle of Geese.

So the next time you feel outrage over the merciful killing of deer in Shawnee Mission Park, ask yourself why your every need and whim needs to be within a stones throw of your glass house.

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