KCK thrift store feels left out of area upgrades

Posted at 9:21 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 23:17:04-05

A new law limits the number of small thrift shops or second-hand stores in Roeland Park. One bargain store owner in neighboring KCK said the move is costing her business.

"I feel as though we're being somewhat forced to move,” explained JoAnne Ayer, the owner of MAJ-R Thrift, located in the 47th Street corridor.

She’s been sorting shoes, clothes and helping customers at her family-owned shop since 1983. Her days are now numbered.

“Personally, we can't afford to stay here and that saddens us a great deal. We don't know if we're going to be able to find another location we can afford now,” she said.

LANE4 Property Group bought the NorthWood shopping center where MAJ-R Thrift is located and renovated it. The group is now raising the rent for its tenants.

Ayer said her $15,000 monthly payment will nearly triple in April.

In a statement to 41 Action News, the group said, “LANE4 is pleased to have recently purchased NorthWood shopping center. We have invested significantly in renovations and improvements to the center, and are excited to welcome new tenants to the KCK area including Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, 1889 Pizza Napoletana, and Sole Patch Men’s Shop. Maj R Thrift’s lease expires in April. We have had a vast amount of interest in the newly rejuvenated center, and as such, have decided to take the leasing of the center in a new direction.”

Ayer and her customers feel left out of the improvements being made in the KCK, Westwood and Roeland Park area.

"Even though there is new, other local stores and restaurants coming in, this is part of the history of the area and that is what we want to continue to see, we don't want to see the history taken away,” said customer Charmaine Hall.

“The Dollar General that is right next door to us is going out of business,” Ayer said. “Some of the ordinances and city codes they've now come down with have prevented us from doing our work that we need to do."

MAJ-R Thrift plans to leave when its rent increases in April. 

41 Action News spoke with the Mayor Joel Marquardt of Roeland Park, and he said the ordinance only allows for three thrift stores in the city. It calls for a 5,000-foot separation requirement not only from a store in Roeland Park, but from one in a neighboring city. 


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