Friday, October 3, 2014

Where’s the Community?

A Column by Mary Wilson, Editor

 
For the third year in a row, I walked along Main Street with kids from Grandview as they celebrated one of the rites of their high school careers: Homecoming. This year, with their faces painted and their letter jackets on, the students at Grandview High School took to the community to garner support and encouragement from businesses and residents.

That support was incredibly lacking. As I geared up with my camera, finding the best spot to photograph the action, I noticed something that really hit a nerve. Before Main Street was closed off to traffic for the parade, several of the businesses surrounding mine, in the heart of Main Street, closed up shop and the owners and employees drove away. There were only a handful of families with small children who made the trek to show their support and maybe get a piece of candy or two.

The rest of Main Street was a ghost town. Whether it was a lack of the school district publicizing the event, or if people were simply too busy on their Friday afternoon, the Grandview community was noticeably absent.

The Grandview School District most recently scored, for the second year in a row, Accredited with Distinction on the Missouri School Improvement Plan grading system. Grandview High School has students with amazing abilities, both academically and athletically. Teenagers thrive on positive reinforcement, and not just from their teachers and parents.

Not too many years ago, when I was in high school, I remember Main Street was full of life on Homecoming Friday. Businesses would hang banners in support of Grandview High School, and the community would come together to build floats, hand out candy, and simply be present. Now it’s as if doors are closed, blinds are shut, and we go about our business as if nothing’s happening.

What changed in the last few years? Where’s the community when our kids are literally begging for attention?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mission: Main Street


By Mary Wilson

The Jackson County Advocate newspaper, your hometown news source, has applied for $150,000 through the Chase Mission Main Street grant program. In all, twenty small business will be awarded the grants, and in addition will receive a winnings package from Google.

The Advocate has been covering Grandview and South Kansas City for 61 years, and we’d like to expand that coverage to offer our readers a broader spectrum of local news. In addition to coverage expansion, we are looking at the development of a website that will offer online subscriptions through desktop, tablet or smartphone platforms.

In order to make this possible, we need your help. Please take a few moments to VOTE for the Jackson County Advocate on the Mission Main Street website. The link is available on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jcadvocatenewspaper. We need a minimum of 250 votes in order to advance to the panel review process. Help support your local newspaper, and VOTE for us today!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Message from the Publisher

Dear Readers,
Please accept my apology to you for our paper being late the last two weeks. Due to problems at our printer’s plant, they were not able to deliver them on time. They have been implementing new programs to provide better service, but we have not seen the progress yet. We have been working with them, and had received assurances that all difficulties were ironed out. We were also told that we would have no further problems. Unfortunately, lightning strikes at their plant took them down this week. They printed our paper in Sedalia yesterday morning, but were unable to get it back to the post office in time. Once again, I am embarrassed to say it will be one day late. While I understand acts of nature this week, that does not excuse the previous two weeks.
We depend on outside sourcing for printing, labeling, and mailing. They have let us down these past few weeks, and, in turn, we have let you down.
We will be starting with new providers next week. We hope the transition is seamless, and you will once again receive your papers on time. We remain committed to provide you with a quality, on-time local newspaper, whatever it takes.
I hope you will bear with us while we resolve these problems. Again, I am sorry.
Thank you,
Becky Davis
Publisher/Owner

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Hours for New Grandview Parks

By Mary Wilson

With the Grandview community embracing their new parks and showing their appreciation at the polls on August 5 with the passage of more no-tax-increase parks bonds, the excitement of what’s already been completed has received attention from neighboring cities. With an uptick in usage from Grandview residents, as well as the metro area as a whole, Grandview Parks and Recreation staff has also seen an increase in complaints.

“We are seeing a tremendous increase in park usage across the city,” said Parks and Recreation Director Eric Lucas. “With that increase, we are also seeing and hearing concerns from citizens regarding park usage after dark.”
The complaints have been from concerns stemming from Meadowmere, Mapleview and Valley Parks. Previously, city ordinance allowed for park usage between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. daily.

“The current ordinance makes it difficult for our police department to enforce the ordinance because if it’s 9:00 and dark outside, people are legally allowed to use the parks,” said Lucas. “Given that most of our parks are in neighborhoods, and the fact that not much good comes from activities after dark, we believe that the park hours need to be modified.”
Lucas discussed possible scenarios with staff and also gathered information from other area ordinances to determine what the best-case-scenario would be for Grandview. Ultimately, the Board of Aldermen voted to unanimously approve a new ordinance regarding park usage hours at the Tuesday, August 12 meeting.

Effective immediately, the ordinance now states that it is unlawful for any person to be on or in the premises, boundaries or facilities of any park or park facility between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from April 1 to October 31, and between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from November 1 to March 31. An exception would be made for those participating in a scheduled, supervised program of the city’s parks and recreation department or with written permission from Lucas. Those breaking the ordinance could face a fine of up to $100, or face up to 90 days jail time.

“The police department preferred a scenario with set hours because it keeps things much cleaner for them and eliminates interpretation,” said Lucas.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 2014 Primary Election Results

Following Tuesday’s election, some races are over, while others are just beginning.

The primary sets in place candidates from each party who will be facing off in November. Below is a listing of the unofficial ballot results for local races with opponents, as well as the outcome of state and local amendments and questions.


For a complete listing of election results, visit http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

May Milling Enriches Grandview Community for Generations

By Mary Wilson

 


Since 1930, the May family has been milling about Grandview when J. Russell May bought Grandview Feed Mills, located on the corner of 6th and Rhodes, for $2000 from a man by the name of Edward Curtis. Over the years, May Milling Company has become a local institution. On Sunday, July 13, Rod May, Jr. shared the history of the family business with members of the Grandview Historical Society.

Currently working as manager of May Milling, Rod, Jr. is a fifth-generation mill worker for the May family. His father, Rod May, Sr., operated the business from the late 1960s until his semi-retirement in 1994. Perched on a seat made of feed bags, Rod, Jr. joked that the May family should go into the furniture business.

The May family has been in the grain business since 1898, when Rod, Jr.’s great-great grandfather came from Scotland and got into the cooper barrel-making business in Independence. When business began to decline in the 1890s, he switched gears and installed an elevator and a scale and started the grain business. That would become the May Coal and Feed Company at 407 South Liberty Street in Independence. The family also owned May Grain Company in Dodson, MO.

In June of 1938, the Mays acquired Quisenberry Feed Manufacturing Company, located at 258 W 3rd Street in Kansas City. This plant produced the feed for the Grandview mill and for many feed retail stores in the Midwest, and the base of operations was moved to Quisenberry, later changing its name to May Way Mills, Inc.

In September of 1939, Grandview Feed Mills burned down. The mill burned for two days, due to an overheated ball bearing in the oat crimper. The entire facility was made of wood and tin.

“There were people in Grandview who would come home, eat dinner, and then go down to the mill to watch it burn,” said May.

It was a total, devastating loss. Today, all that remains of the original building is a concrete walk-in safe. After the fire, J. Russell bought the Dodson mill from his father, Nephi May, for $1. In 1940, Grandview Feed Mills opened a new office across from the old plant on Rhodes Avenue. There were two small warehouses and a large haybarn located at 6th and Main.

Both small warehouses burned down later, and operations were moved inside the large haybarn. With its plank floors, milling machinery and an elevator installation, Grandview Feed Mills changed its name to May Milling Company in 1940, where it continues operations today. The interior of the warehouse was built with old wooden boxcar sides.

When they reopened, customer parking space was needed on the east side of the building. At the time, the Mays leased land from the railroad. When lease pricing kept climbing to the point where it wasn’t worth the price, the Mays then moved the entrance to the west side of the building, with use of the new dock and entrance beginning in 1994.

Due to J. Russell’s failing health in 1957, Rod, Sr. moved to Kansas City, where he worked with his father in the office until he was no longer able to work. J. Russell died in 1971, and when his wife, Elizabeth, died in 1985, ownership of the two companies passed to her sons, with Rod, Sr. taking over operations.

In 1989, Quisenberry Mills was sold to Timothy Blevin, and was closed within the next two years.

Over the years, former employees have come in to tell stories of their times working in the mill. The family looks forward to hearing from visitors of the past. Presently, May Milling Company sells its own brand of dog food, horse feed, wild bird food and several kinds of feed for domestic birds. The only feed produced and bagged at their location is the domestic bird feed.

May Milling is also home to cats, and patrons may remember the calico with the reputation of being the best “mouser” ever. Located at 606 Main Street in Grandview, May Milling also carries different brands of feed for all kinds of animals, as well as cooking spices, dog treats, and an assortment of other items.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Grandview Turns Corner on Future Development



Truman’s Marketplace development moving forward this summer

 RED Legacy, in partnership with the City of Grandview announces plans to move forward with the redevelopment of the Truman Corners Shopping Center in Grandview, Missouri. In addition to the new name, Truman’s Marketplace boasts a complete remodel and the introduction of several new tenants.

 The 72-acre site is located at the intersection of Blue Ridge Boulevard and Highway 71/Interstate 49, on what was once the boyhood farm of the nation’s 33rd President. Once completed in the summer of 2015, Truman’s Marketplace will bring 580,000 square-feet of major brand grocery, specialty stores, apparel shops, pet supplies, arts and crafts, and new restaurants to the area.

 “This will be a wonderful front door for Grandview,” says Grandview Mayor Leonard D. Jones, Jr.  ”This site serves as the gateway not only to Grandview, but also the entire Kansas City Metro area. We could not be more thrilled to have this development underway.”

 The site has been the subject of complex property acquisition issues and negotiations since the redevelopment project was originally announced, however, the shopping center anticipates opening by late spring 2015.  RED Legacy has commitments from retailers for most of the shopping center space, including a new anchor store, and anticipates that the pad sites will be filled once construction on the shopping center begins late this year.

“The City of Grandview and RED Legacy are very excited about how quickly this project has come together in the past few months. Though we have been excited to get started, we are actually seeing some benefit from the timing.  Changes just this year in the financial markets have allowed the City to actually reduce its financial risk,” stated Jones. “This is a great opportunity for Grandview and its residents. I know that the community and those visiting Grandview will be pleased with the variety of new stores and restaurants that will soon be available.”

RED Legacy, as well, is bullish on the success of the new shopping center. “We’ve known for quite sometime what a treasure this location is,” stated Bart Lowen, Managing Partner of RED Legacy.  “It has great access for the entire metro and is under-served for retail and restaurants. The response to lease space has been tremendous.”

 

NEW TENANTS ANNOUNCED

Bolstering that claim, RED Legacy released the names of seven new tenants that would be a part of the renovated Truman’s Marketplace.

New stores and restaurants joining the new center include:

Ross Dress for Less—The largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States with 1,146 locations in 33 states, Ross offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices.

TJ Maxx—T.J. Maxx  is one of the country’s most prominent off-price retailers of apparel and home fashions, offering  an ever-fresh array of fashionable, brand name family apparel, home fashions and other merchandise, such as beauty products. T.J. Maxx operates 1,079 stores in 49 states.

Burlington—.Burlington stocks a large assortment of current, high-quality, designer and name brand coats, clothing, and shoes for the entire family— at up to 70% off department store prices. With over 470 stores in 44 states, Burlington is among the nation’s most prominent off-price retailers.

LC's BBQ—Amidst the competitive Kansas City BBQ scene, LC’s has quietly earned a reputation for serving the finest burnt ends and ribs in the business, with many barbeque enthusiasts regarding LC’s sauce as one of the area’s best-kept secrets. For authentic Kansas City-style BBQ LC’s is considered one of the greats.

Petco—Petco is a leading specialty retailer of premium pet food, supplies, services and companion animals with more than 1,200 stores in all 50 states. Petco provides more than 10,000 different pet-related products for dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and small animals.

Shoe Carnival—Shoe Carnival is a leading retailer of family footwear. Each store offers a wide selection of both name brand and private label merchandise, where contests, games, neon signs, flashing lights and up-tempo music produce an energized shopping atmosphere.

Anna’s Nails – Adding a new specialty shop to the new center.

The new marketplace will consist of mostly new construction, with a high level of architectural finish.  Any remaining structures will be reconstructed with entirely new facades and interiors, presenting an appearance duplicating the new construction.

Existing stores that will continue operation in brand new surroundings include:

Price Chopper

54th Street Grill

International House of Pancakes

GNC

Dollar Tree

Advanced Auto

Payless Shoe Source

Radio Shack

Topsy’s

Truman Corners Barber

Sally Beauty

CitiTrends

Originally opened in 1958, Truman Corners shopping mall has been Grandview’s premier shopping destination for decades.  The reconfigured Truman’s Marketplace is designed to be a walkable shopping center with pedestrian connections to Truman’s farmstead and numerous other pedestrian-friendly amenities. In addition to completely new architecture, the project will feature an entirely remodeled parking area, landscaping and hardscaping throughout the center.

 
ABOUT RED LEGACY

Fired from the same single-minded drive that powered RED Development for more than 16 years, RED Legacy delivers shopping centers focused on rent growth and providing a unique customer experience.  The newly created RED Legacy focuses on suburban and infill redevelopment opportunities.  Under RED co-founder, Dan Lowe, RED Legacy engages in value-add projects with strong returns.  Please visit www.redlegacy.com for more information.