The Harbinger Online

Changes in the Village

Changes to businesses are coming to the Village Shopping Center. Starbucks will be moving into the new 5800 square foot building being constructed where Waid’s used to stand, and Dolce Bakery is moving next to the paper goods store RSVP which is at 3934 W. 69th Terrace. Lane4 Property Group, owner of the Village Shops, expects to have the new building next to Starbucks by the end of the year so Starbucks can open early in 2014. The vacant spot next to Bruce Smith Drugs that formerly housed the Toon Shop will be occupied by a Blue Cross Blue Shields company Live Blue.

The new Starbucks will take up approximately 2100 square feet of the new building and will include a drive-thru. Lane4 has taken new traffic created by the drive-thru into consideration, however they believe the current Village parking lot will accommodate the increased number of cars.

“We’re pretty careful about [traffic] and how we monitor the parking versus the businesses we put in there,” said Tom O’Leary, Lane4 Property Group’s Senior Vice President.

Drive-thrus, in hopes of increasing customer satisfaction and efficiency, are growing in number. Starbucks finds drive-thrus increase their profit, and in the next five years over half of their new locations will be drive-thrus. It is expected to bring more business to the Starbucks in the Village.

“It  will definitely make me go there more often,” senior Taylor McCullough said. “It’s on my way to school so I pick up some coffee in the mornings sometimes. The drive-thru also makes it a lot faster.”

Dolce, currently next to Starbucks, will move across the shopping center beside RSVP in early Oct. In addition to changing their location, the company will sport an updated logo. To further update the shop they have also changed their name from Dolce Baking Co. to Dolce Bakery. The new name and logo can already be seen on the sign put up above the new location. The empty spot created when Starbucks and Dolce move will become an Einstein Brothers. Einstein Brothers had a shop on the other side of the Village that closed two years ago.

“I’m looking forward to that [Einstein Brothers], it will be so easy to grab on the way to school or even to get for lunch,” senior Annie Mann said.

Across from Einstein Brothers will be a new business to the area, Live Blue. Blue Cross Blue Shield, as the city’s only locally-managed health plan provider, created Blue KC to inform citizens about changing health care requirements. They opened a location Aug. 1 at Zona Rosa, and the Prairie Village location is set to open this fall. Live Blue is a non-profit wellness center designed to educate the public about potentially confusing health care requirements and laws.

The company offers a variety of fitness classes from yoga, to Zumba and pilates. Educational eating workshops are also available. The classes are offered for specific health issues such as planning diets to lower cholesterol and classes designed to control stress eating. One-on-one support about deciding which health plan is right for you after the health reform is something else the Live Blue center will provide. Patrons do not have to have Blue KC health coverage to take part in these programs.

Another potential change that could come to the shops is the addition of a post office. The US Post Office located on 3710 73rd Terrace has expressed interest in moving to the Prairie Village shops. They are unsure if this location is a possibility and have proposed an alternative spot at 7914 State Line Road, but the village is their preferred location if they move

Prairie Village Mayor Ronald Shaffer was notified Sept. 6 regarding their interest in switching locations, however the post office has updated their lease at their current location until plans are made for a definite move.

“While we work toward finalizing this phase of the project, we have extended the lease at the existing facility at 3710 73rd Terrace,” said Angela Kuhl, Real Estate Specialist for USPS facilities implementation in a letter to Mayor Shaffer.

The final change coming to the Village will be a new business in the 3700 square foot space left in the new building after Starbucks moves in. Lane4 is currently negotiating and has received a lot of interest in the space, although nothing has been completed.

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Claire Whittaker

Sophomore Claire Whittaker is a feature page designer and writer. Read Full »

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