Business bustling for downtown Bonner Springs
In the last few months, downtown Bonner Springs has been full of activity — and not just because of Tiblow Days.
In fact, with recently-moved tenants like Vaughn-Trent Community Services and incoming tenants like Bonner Springs Pizza Company, the vacancy rate on Oak Street is down to 11 percent, according to Marcia Harrington, the city’s community and economic development director.
“There are 46 spaces, and only five aren’t leased or rented,” she said.
The newest business will be Bonner Springs Pizza Company, 131 Oak, which Harrington said had hoped to be open by Tiblow Days but experienced some delays. Harrington said she learned this week that the city’s inspections were complete, but some health department inspections may remain before the restaurant can open for business.
The building at 200 Oak Street was purchased by E & J Specialty, a flooring contractor. The company has been remodeling the building over the summer to create five office suites on the top floor and retail space on the ground level.
This and That Antiques and Collectibles, owned by Dennis and Connie Fenton of Basehor, will be moving across the street from its current location to take up that ground-level retail space. But Harrington said she isn’t concerned about the vacancy that This and That’s move will create.
“That one usually fills up pretty quickly, and in fact I have a prospect for that right now,” Harrington said.
One business unfortunately won’t be coming to downtown as planned. A dance studio had planned to move into the former Masonic Lodge space on the second level of the building at 300 Oak Street, but Harrington said she learned late last week that the studio decided to move to a building in Tonganoxie instead. However, new windows were just installed in the space, so it should be more attractive to a future tenant.
Other spaces that continue to be vacant are the former Roving Imp Theater and one of the suites in the Centennial Building at 129 Oak, as well as an upstairs suite in a building in the 200 block.
In the greater downtown area, another business has moved into the building 216 E. Second St. Boyer’s Artisan Meatball Catering is owned by Phillip Boyer of Shawnee and previously was located in Basehor, creating 28 varieties of meatballs.
Also in the northwestern edges of downtown, the house that is zoned commercial property next to the Dari Dine at Kump and Nettleton avenues reportedly is occupied by a furniture refurnishing business, though the business has yet to file a business license with the city.
Additionally, Harrington said she recently learned that a tattoo parlor, Righteous Tattoo Studios, was planning to move into The Bonner Shops at Front and Warner. She said this should leave just two or three vacancies in that strip building.
One vacant building on Front Street may continue in that state for some time, however. Harrington said that she hasn’t heard of any interested parties for the former Pizza Hut at Front and Pine.