By Kevin Collison
Made in Kansas City is relocating from the Crossroads to 31st and Oak where it will be the anchor tenant in the $4 million renovation of the old Linwood Ice Cream building.
The Kansas City artisan collective plans to take most of the first floor of the two-story building at 325 E. 31st St. at Martini Corner.
An innovative new co-working space for mental health professionals will occupy the upper floor, according to developer Paul Nagaoka.
“I want to create an eco-system where different tenants support each other economically and bring a cool vibe to Martini Corner,” he said.
Made in KC is planning to relocate its headquarters to the space as well as open a café with a drive-through option, retail space for its artisans and a bar called “Ludo’s” that will feature four, floor shuffleboard lanes.
Keith Bradley, co-owner of Made in KC, said the Midtown area near Martini Corner currently has a stronger customer base than the East Crossroads.
It’s close to the thousands of new apartments recently developed or planned nearby in Union Hill, Troost Avenue and Armour Boulevard.
“That part of the metro is going to be a continued draw because of all the apartments,” he said.
Martini Corner and the nearby area coined “Tower East” is experiencing a resurgence.
Developer Caleb Buland recently purchased buildings at the core of the Martini Corner entertainment area with plans for a major revamp.
Buland also completed the renovation of the old Acme building at 3200 Gillham Rd. into the new home of the KC Artists Coalition and apartments. New businesses, including Brewer’s Kitchen, have opened nearby on Gillham Road.
For Nagaoka, the Linwood Ice Cream project is another new venture for his firm Syndicate Real Estate Development. Last week, he won City Council approval for a plan to build micro apartments using shipping containers on the Westside.
The developer grew up in Hawaii and then lived on the West Coast before coming to Kansas City about 10 years ago.
Nagaoka is particularly excited about the co-working space planned for mental health professionals at the new project. The 38 office spaces will provide professionals the privacy they need to counsel clients that’s lacking in other co-working environments.
“It will provide mental healthcare providers with space where people can feel they’re part of a community,” he said.
“It will be a full-service space and we’re the first people in Kansas City to do it.”
There’s been strong interest by mental health professionals in the upstairs space and Made in KC will occupy 90 percent of the lower floor, leaving about four smaller retail spaces available in the 20,000 square-foot building.
Bradley said Made in KC will be leaving its East Crossroads building at 509 E. 18th St., but has no plan to sell it and will look for news uses. It has not reopened since being closed by the Covid-19 pandemic in March.
“We essentially outgrew our building in the Crossroads,” he said. “We needed more space to house inventory and get things out to our other shops.”
Nagaoka said the old Linwood Ice Cream building is being renovated with sensitivity to its old architecture, but will not be a historic preservation project because new windows are being installed.
“We’ll keep the old aesthetic but with modern flourishes,” he said.
The project is expected to be completed by mid-September. Bradley said Made in KC hopes to open its new space sometime this Fall.
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