Lenexa Public Market 3 months later

LENEXA, Kan. – December marks three months since the Lenexa Public Market opened.

When it first opened the manager, Carla Chopp, had a lot of questions.

"I was thinking 'How will this be received?' This space is always going to be dynamic and changing, but will Johnson County folks like this concept? Will they embrace it? Will they come?" she asked.

Fast forward three months later and…

"Sales have been strong here," Chopp said. "We're still trying to understand traffic patterns around here – when it's going to be busy, when people are coming in, and how they are using the space."

When the Lenexa Public Market first opened, the creators had two goals in mind. The first was to create a town square where people could come connect, talk and meet.  

So far, Chopp said she's happy to see a variety people of using it. She's noticed business meetings, senior groups, families, bikers, and even –

"My personal favorite – couples coming in on their first date, which I think is pretty cute," Chopp said.

The second goal of the Public Market was to help out local businesses, both big and small.

Right now, the three anchor stores in the market are all local restaurants: Chewology, The Roasterie and Topp'd Pizza and Salads. That means they’ve signed one- to three-year leases.

"We have one more under construction, that's Mad Man's KC BBQ. They will be open about mid-December," Chopp said.

But for businesses that are just starting out, there are other options:

  • Short-term merchant stall: lease of four months up to a year
  • Pop-up shop merchant: license to use the space for 30 to 90 days
  • Day-cart merchant: Can be licensed to use daily, $25 Monday to Thursday, $50 Friday to Sunday 

Anyone interested in filling out an application for your business can click here for more information.

"That's for people who are kind of just starting and testing things out," Chopp said. "It is to give them an opportunity to get into business, but also gives the city an opportunity to kind of vet them and see how they do."

They’ve also worked closely with the city to create ways for people to move more freely about the space.

Current legislation says you can purchase alcohol at a drinking establishment, but you have to drink it there. You can't walk around with it.

“So, we put forward some legislation that allows for a common consumption area, and the city created that area, which is the blue stars outside," Chopp said.

A common consumption area is defined in Kansas law as an “indoor or outdoor are not otherwise licensed where possession and consumption of alcoholic liquor is allowed.”

"One of the most exciting things about the space is that it's the first common consumption area in Kansas," Chopp said.

Lenexa Public Market isn't done growing yet. Already in the works for Spring 2018 is a season farmers market.

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