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'We can’t fight it, it’s going to happen': Businesses in Crossroads weigh in on proposed Royals ballpark

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Posted at 8:13 PM, Feb 13, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While the Kansas City Royals announced plans to build a new ballpark in the Crossroads District, KSHB 41's Megan Abundis watched with businesses in the area.

"I will say this happening convinces me he won’t move the team; I was worried about that," said Josh Kennedy, with International Tap House.

During the announcement, the opening shift at ITap was put on pause because staff were focused on the future of the business.

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“We all just want to see this not crush some of our favorite small businesses," Kennedy said.

Kennedy established the bar's location in the Crossroad District in 2017, but is also a lifelong Royals fan.

“I’m less worried about the location, but really the time in between now and then," Kennedy said. “I’m excited at the prospect of this if it goes right, but nervous about how it’s going to go down in the next two years of construction."

Across from the former Kansas City Star printing plant where the stadium will sit is Brick River Cider Co.

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“There’s goods and bads," said Russ John, co-owner of Brick River Cider Co

John has renovated Brick River Cider Co. for a year and has been open for a year.

Abundis asked John, "You are less than 30 feet from the line, has anyone tried to approach you?"

“We have had no direct conversation with anyone," he said. “I’d say uncertain is the current thing.”

Abundis asked, “You said you’re measured about it, why?"

“I think there’s opportunity sure, just some uncertainty with that opportunity,” John said.

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Dean Yuba's PokeSan has been established for the last few years along Grand Boulevard and is in the direct ballpark construction zone.

“Things have to change; I guess this neighborhood could use a good shot in the arm and bring it up to speed for the future,” Yuba said.

Yuba and PokeSan’s future is uncertain.

“I don’t want to be angry at this point; it’s not worth it. We can’t fight it; it’s going to happen," he said. "The more we stay angry about it, the worse it’s going to be. I want to go with the flow, do the Hawaiian thing — go somewhere else and start over."

Yuba is hoping the Royals will provide some help for businesses that will be impacted.

“Hopefully they give us some kind of relocation package or open up a new space in the new retail spaces they are going to construct,” he said. “The plans look great. It's actually revitalizing the neighborhood. It's sad we have to leave, but it’s a good thing; it's just not good for us.”