A newly announced Made in KC Marketplace at Lenexa City Center will make local goods — and the makers behind them — more accessible to a fast-developing piece of Kansas City, said Keith Bradley.
“Part of our mission as a company is to make shopping local a habit,” said Bradley, co-owner of Made in KC, a curator and retailer of Kansas City-made products with shops, cafes and marketplaces across the metro. “We feel that shopping local should be incorporated into our everyday lives and shouldn’t be limited to a special event or season. To make that happen, there needs to be a convenience factor.”
The new store is expected to fill 8,166 square feet on the first floor of the Penn I building, across from the already-popular Public Market within Lenexa City Center’s The District. Made in KC is expected to open the location by October, Bradley said.
Growth and development in western Johnson County helped make Lenexa City Center an attractive choice for Made in KC’s next marketplace — an open concept retail store with apparel, artwork, home and apothecary goods, accessories, culinary products and more, all sold from central point of sale locations.
Shoppers can expect a similar feel to the Made in KC Marketplaces on the Country Club Plaza and in Lee’s Summit, Bradley said, noting the retail store will feature a cafe and bar.
“Our marketplace concept, which combines eating, drinking and shopping local, all in one space, requires a larger amount of square footage to execute well,” Bradley said. “There are not very many buildings suited for this concept, so when we were presented with this space in Lenexa, we knew right away it was perfect.”
Playing into the entertainment-centric feel of Lenexa City Center’s “The District” (which includes apartments, shops and offices), the marketplace will also be home to three 52-foot-long, full-sized shuffleboard lanes — a unique addition to the the store’s design that fits the local community.
“When Made in KC was searching for its new location, we were really drawn by the hub of activity and development at The District,” said Tyler Enders, Made in KC co-founder and co-owner. “We’re really looking forward to being a part of Lenexa City Center and the exciting growth surrounding it.”
When fully developed, Lenexa City Center — a walkable community with a coworking space and the Lenexa Public Library among its tenants — is expected to consist of more than 2 million square feet, including civic components for the City of Lenexa, nearly 1 million square feet of office and retail, and 375 residential units. The District Shops will include a variety of unique stores, restaurants and cafes in the heart of Lenexa’s new downtown.
Watch a video below about Lenexa City Center, then keep reading for more on Made in KC’s expansion.
Just a 20-minute drive from Made in KC’s existing Plaza location, the Lenexa store is expected to draw a different customer base, Bradley said, and build on the brand’s footprint across Kansas City.
The Plaza store itself — which caters to a healthy mix of out-of-town guests and tourists, he said — will soon see its own expansion. An additional 2,000 square feet from a neighboring storefront with a sudden vacancy (a former The Walking Company retailer) will bring the marketplace to about 11,000 square feet.
“Our existing location [on the Plaza] was a former American Eagle store, so it wasn’t quite suited for our marketplace concept, but we’ve made it work,” Bradley said of the space that opened in July 2018. “Expanding into the next storefront will allow us to more fully execute on the vision of the Made in KC Marketplace on the Plaza.”
“We are focusing on creating a more conducive cafe environment for meeting and hanging out,” he continued. “We also will be able to add several new artists to the community in existence there.”
Made in KC plans to open more of its smaller, neighborhood shops across the metro to continue growing and strengthening its brand, as well as access to local creatives, Bradley said.
Click here to read about the most recent new shop, the Made in KC Midtown location, which also includes The Black Pantry.
“We think the more we can expand, the more it helps our artists and makers,” he said. “Additionally, if the spaces and locations are right, we’d like to open another Marketplace concept. Our vision is that Kansas City becomes an exemplary model for supporting local goods and arts and that other cities are inspired to do the same.”