Ragazza Reopens in New Location

(Kansas City, MO) – The long-awaited, much-anticipated reopening of Ragazza, a beloved Italian bistro and wine bar, in its new location is Wednesday, March 13. After more than four years at the original location in Westport, Ragazza has made a new home just a few blocks away at 4301 Main Street – in the resurging Southmoreland neighborhood – to accommodate a growing customer base and a more efficient overall operation. Owner and proprietor Laura Norris signed the lease in late January 2018 with Del Properties and was represented in the transaction by Justin Cottrell with KC Commercial Realty Group. She describes the renovation at 43rd and Main in the historic Karnopp Building as a labor of love that has thrown some unexpected curveballs including a fluke car crash into the storefront and a cave fire that destroyed the newly fabricated entryway. When the plan for a seamless transition from the former location didn’t work out quite like she had hoped and construction was delayed at the new location, Norris made ends meet and managed to retain her family-like staff with pop-up dinners and impromptu events. She fielded all the curveballs with grit and is now just a liquor license away from opening. She said she expects to hit the ground running with little fanfare, “We just want to get back to the business of serving family, friends and neighbors again.” She’s excited to greet the regulars from the former location and is looking forward to welcoming first-timers the new locale is sure to attract. A midtown native with a professional background in architectural preservation, Norris says the building with its corner entrance has a charm that resonates with her inner history buff. Formerly a small grocery store, the space had been severely fire damaged and was completely gutted when the project began. Early in the project, Norris discovered unique details that have been incorporated into the restaurant’s design including an exposed brick wall and sections of colorful vintage mosaic flooring that has been salvaged from a thick black layer of tile adhesive from decades prior. Through it all, Norris’ prevailing concern has been translating the charm and intimate atmosphere of the original Ragazza into the new space while more than doubling its capacity and elbow room. By all estimations, she’s succeeded as the new iteration bears a striking resemblance to the original in terms of layout and vibe. The interior design is warm with custom walnut accents and vintage detail mixed with modern elements. Upon entry, the bar remains the focal point and the familiar chandelier – once orange, now white — hangs out at the far end like an old friend waiting to be spotted. The classic family photo of Norris’ grandmother, mother and uncles still smiles upon the restaurant capturing the spirit of Ragazza. Veterans will note that a few original handmade tables made the move, and those who have been around since the very beginning will recall the original waiting area that was replaced with tables early on. There’s room now, so it’s back and comfier than before. The kitchen is larger, less exposed, more efficient and enables Chef James Landis, formerly of Blue Grotto, and the larger, seasoned staff to work nimbly. The layout allows diners to enjoy natural light from tall windows that flank Main Street, and after sunset the artisanal lighting scheme creates a cozy sparkle throughout the interior. The dining room was ingeniously designed to accommodate good-sized events that can be enclosed with sliding walnut panels. Norris says she plans to hold more of her popular Monday night wine dinners, tastings, wine classes and more. Sunday Vinyl Sunday Brunch is in the works complete with a deejay, turntables and crowd-pleasing record albums. The overall design parallels the menu: familiar and refreshed. Patrons can look forward to their favorite standards like meatballs, eggplant parm and lasagna. New items are joining the offering as well as seasonal features. Norris says the eggplant fries are addictive, and she’s particularly excited to offer her grandmother’s swordfish prepared with lemon and capers, a traditional dish from the Island of Salinas, her great grandmother’s birthplace. Other mouthwatering additions include braised lamb shank and cinghiale stew – all served with a wider variety of sides. Upon opening, Ragazza will serve dinner Tuesday – Saturday and Sunday brunch. Reverse happy hour will be available until midnight Thursday-Saturday. Daily lunch service will be added soon. -###- Ragazza open Tuesday – Sunday www.RagazzaKC.com

Popular Local Business Makes New Home in City Market

(Kansas City, MO) – KC Commercial Realty Group and City Market are pleased to announce Local Pig & Pigwich, a meat market and sandwich shop will relocate to City Market in mid-October in the space that was formerly Winslow’s BBQ at 20 E 5th Street, Suites 101A and 101C. While exact dates are not yet firm, plans for transition will be seamless with little down time between locations.

To make way for renovation, KC Soda Co. at 20 East 5th Street, Suite 101C will close Monday, Aug. 27, and re-open Wednesday, Aug. 29, just steps away in a new permanent City Market space at 421 Main. Once the renovation is complete, Local Pig & Pigwich will be an adjoined space with separate primary entrances on the 5th Street side and the Market side respectively.

After six years in their original East Bottoms location, co-owners Alex Pope and Matt Kafka began exploring ways to expand Pigwich, a stationary food truck adjacent to Local Pig. Once they determined renovating their current leased space was not feasible, they began looking for a new home. “It was really important to find a spot with character,” Pope says, “I spent months considering various locations, but after one tour of the space at City Market, I knew it was the right spot for us.”

Unlike the current Pigwich operation housed in a walk-up trailer, the new location will have plenty of indoor seating to accommodate up to 75 guests with additional seasonal space on the large brick patio. The new setting will also feature a kids’ corner with imaginative details to keep little ones entertained.

Pigwich will still have counter service, and customers can look forward to a larger menu featuring all their mainstays, plus several additional sandwiches from the former daily specials lineup. New sides like fries and a limited dessert selection will round out the menu. Beer, wine and cocktails will be available by the can. The menu will also feature smaller versions of standard items for kids.

As a purveyor of premium meats, Local Pig strives to offer the most cuts of high-quality smoked, cured and ready-to-eat meats from whole animals raised on small local farms with no antibiotics, steroids or confinement including aged beef, heritage pork, lamb, free-range chicken and duck. They also have house-made prepared items such as pickles and seasonings, classes and charcuterie items for do-it-yourselfers and a “Butcher Box” subscription program for regulars. While their products and services will generally remain the same, Pope says the move to City Market will allow them to focus on serving more customers, expanding their selection of locally produced retail items and fine-tuning their overall operation.

“Being at City Market is ideal for our customers who want a turnkey shopping experience,” Pope says, “With City Market produce vendors and specialty shops, our customers can find everything they need to eat clean and well.” Local Pig & Pigwich will operate 7 days a week 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

One of the oldest business centers in the city, the City Market has served as a springboard for small business in the community for more that 160 years.

 

KC Commercial Realty Group Names City Market Manager

(Kansas City, MO) – KC Commercial Realty Group is pleased to announce the addition of Rosemary Salerno as Vice President – General Manager of City Market, effective Monday, July 16. A well-regarded industry professional, Salerno, a Kansas City native, will work closely with the City of Kansas City, MO, and City Market’s management team to oversee the property’s daily operations and overall direction.

“Rosemary brings a great deal of experience in retail property management, strong relationships throughout our community as well as an unmatched enthusiasm for local business and history,” said Justin Cottrell, Principal of KC Commercial Realty Group that handles City Market’s leasing and management for the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

With decades of experience managing the marketing and operations of several familiar area properties including Independence Center, Prime Outlets in Odessa MO, and most recently, Zona Rosa, she is also an active community leader serving on boards of several civic organizations including the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Visit KC, Platte County Economic Development Council and Northland Community Foundation.

During her 14-year tenure as general manager of Zona Rosa, Salerno has demonstrated best-in-class industry practices and is a recipient of multiple awards from the International Council of Shopping Centers [ICSC] for outstanding marketing efforts including prestigious international ICSC MAXI Gold awards.

A lifelong Northlander, she has also demonstrated an affinity for her hometown reviving several beloved Kansas City traditions and making Zona Rosa a city-wide holiday destination. Most notably, she was instrumental in the re-creation of iconic crowns that hung over Main Street downtown during the holiday season in the 1960s and 1970s. The emotional connection the crowns made with the community inspired her to reimagine the Kansas City Museum’s beloved igloo as part of the display; she also rekindled Kansas City’s historic Easter Parade.

“It is important to me not only to preserve traditions like these but also to give them new life,” Salerno says. “I’m looking forward to doing a version of that every day in my new role because City Market is a Kansas City treasure, and it’s truly an honor to be entrusted with such an important part our city and community.”

One of the oldest business centers in the city, the City Market has served as a springboard for small business in the community for more than 160 years.

KC Commercial Realty Group unveils Centropolis on Grand in the historic River Market

KC Commercial Realty Group unveils Centropolis on Grand in the historic River Market

(Kansas City, MO) – KC Commercial Realty Group (KCCRG) is pleased to announce the completion of the Centropolis on Grand, a five-story, 56-unit, luxury apartment building in the historic River Market district. Boveri Realty Group handles leasing for the project and leased forty percent of the units prior to the project’s completion.

The site at 501 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO, had been vacant since the early 1940s. Construction of the 84,000 square foot structure began in the fall of 2014 and was designed by NSPJ Architects of Prairie Village, KS. “The exterior elevations have been designed to convey an updated yet traditional feel to complement the existing vernacular of the neighborhood” said Clint Evans, Principal Architect and Co-President of NSPJ Architects.  The building is comprised of 52 one-bedroom units and four two bedroom units. Each unit has aa single parking space in the enclosed garage on the first level of the structure.

Centropolis on Grand is a nod to its namesake, the historic hotel once located at the intersection from the late 1800s. Major William Gilpin, mapmaker and early booster of Kansas City, named the original Centropolis Hotel.  As far back as 1859, Gilpin referred to Kansas City as “Centropolis” due to its close proximity to the geographical center of the United States.  In its peak vibrancy, the hotel was a destination for movie stars and presidents; the building was razed in 1941 as development in Kansas City moved southward.

The River Market is a popular choice for residents due to the historic feel and amenities in the neighborhood, including the City Market, a City-owned property privately managed by KC Commercial Realty Group.

“Our goal was to develop a building that fits seamlessly into the historic neighborhood and offers tenants walkable access to amenities such as the City Market and the KC Streetcar,” said Justin Cottrell, Principal of KC Commercial Realty Group.  “Centropolis on Grand is just the first of several residential projects our company is planning to develop in the River Market.”

KC Commercial Realty Group was formed in 2007. Principals are David Bayer and Justin Cottrell.  KCCRG focuses on third party retail brokerage, leasing, property management and development with an emphasis on premium service to their clients. The company currently represents several local and national retailers in the Kansas City market, manages several hundred thousand square feet of retail and multifamily property and has over 450,000 square feet in future development plans.  Visit kccommercialrealty.com for more information.

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City Market Renovation

KC Commercial Realty Group worked closely with STRATA Architecture to create a better shopping experience for City Market tenants and customers.

New experiences await those walking the City Market at night with expanded lighting and accent features. To improve safety for patrons as well as greatly reducing energy usage, new LED lighting has been installed throughout the City Market.
Improvements specific to energy consumption reduction include replacement of interior lighting at Sheds 1, 2, and 3, the addition of perimeter lighting at all sheds reflective of the original 1940s decorative perimeter lighting, and accent catenary lighting between the sheds for a festive pedestrian atmosphere.

Additionally, at the perimeter buildings of the City Market, the passages between the center pavilions and the parking to the west were upgraded. New LED uplighting and emergency egress lighting was installed to coordinate with the new roofing design. Accent colored LED enclosures were designed and installed to surround the two walkway entrances along with the northwest courtyard enclosure which provide clear wayfinding in order to direct patrons to the entrance points of the City Market.

Property Update

The Centropolis on Grand will be a 56 unit, market rate apartment building that is under construction at the southeast corner of 5th Street and Grand Boulevard in the River Market. The building will be comprised of 52 one bedroom units and 4 two bedroom units. Each unit will have one parking space on the first level of the structure.