Business

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Break out the Mrs. Fields! Oak Park Mall getting a face-lift

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Oak Park Mall keeps rocking.
  • Oak Park Mall keeps rocking.

Cities around the metropolitan area are reckoning with aging shopping malls. A number of enclosed shopping centers built in the 1960s, '70s and '80s -- which once were sales-tax machines lubricated by Orange Julius -- have been torn down or are begging for demolition.

A mall increases its odds of survival if it's located in an area of town where people have money. The company that owns Oak Park Mall says it plans to update the Overland Park shopping destination.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wichita Wal-Mart fired a woman for thwarting a thief; named nation's Business Blunder of the Year

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Wal-Mart fired a woman for saving the company $600.
  • Wal-Mart fired a woman for saving the company $600.

When businesses in our little part of the country make national Top 10 lists, it's rarely a good thing. Tuesday was no different when we topped CBS' list of Biggest Business Blunders of 2010.

The event took place one Friday night in May, when Heather Ravenstein was working as a customer-service manager at a Wichita Wal-Mart. According to the Wichita Eagle, Ravenstein noticed a man walking quickly toward the exit with a $600 computer. He walked right out the door and set off the alarm. Ravenstein dashed after him and said, "Let me see your receipt, and I'll take this off for you," regarding the sensor that had triggered the alarm. Instead, the man showed her how hard he could kick her.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chiefs playoff game will bring money to Kansas City, but not $20 million. Or $10 million. Or ...

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 12:00 PM

The local facepaint economy is expected to see a marginal spike.
  • The local facepaint economy is expected to see a marginal spike.

With the Kansas City Chiefs penciled into next week's NFL playoffs, it's high time for the media to start tossing around dreamy estimates of how much money a home playoff game will mean for Kansas City. By next Sunday, the stories go, area bars will be pouring liquid gold from their taps, and we won't even need the e-tax to pay for cops. We'll just pay 'em with Chiefs money!

Of course, the numbers are bogus. Especially when you factor in our bundled-up strippers.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Iowa inmates wiping asses with toilet paper made by Missouri inmates

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 3:00 PM

The Charmin bear is going to get shivved.
  • The Charmin bear is going to get shivved.

The new face of selling toilet paper isn't a cartoon bear, cherubic baby or a totally unwatchable Zack Braff-voiced puppy. It's Missouri's murderers and rapists.

The prisoners in two Iowa clinks are wiping their bottoms with one-ply rolls created by inmates at Crossroads Correctional Facility in Cameron. And if officials like how the paper performs, they might make Iowa's incarcerated make their own TP. As the director of Iowa Prison Industries notes, toilet paper is a "high-consumption item."

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday sales in Kansas City

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Fill your holiday shopping bags locally this weekend
  • Fill your holiday shopping bags locally this weekend

Doing battle with soccer moms over Elmos and X-Boxes in the middle of the night doesn't sound like fun. But when retailers dangle unbelievable deals, it's hard to resist taking part in the biggest shopping day of the year, especially in these crappy economic times.

This morning, I participated in a Black Friday-themed discussion on KCUR's Central Standard (download KCUR's recording of me

umming and uhhing about where to stretch your dollars on the day after

Thanksgiving). As I write this, the podcast isn't available yet, but should eventually be available.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

West Edge project finally, maybe, sort of on track to be seemingly completed, it seems

Posted By on Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 2:30 PM

West Edge, the pipe dream version.
  • West Edge, the pipe dream version.

The long-ago-stalled West Edge project, a hotel and office development near the Plaza, looks to be on the verge of maybe getting completed sometime sooner or later. Perhaps.

The project started in 2005, when ad man Bob Bernstein teamed up with the city to build a hotel and headquarters for his agency. But four years later it fell apart when Bernstein's development company went bankrupt. Now the project is on the verge of being sold -- but nothing about the Star's story inspires confidence that they'll be rolling in mini bars and cubicles anytime soon.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kansas City's a great place to start a business, Fast Company says

Posted By on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Bright lights, business city.
  • Bright lights, business city.

We may not be known as the safest hamlet in the country or the most attractive, but entrepreneurial-minded folks looking for a place to start up a business may find a haven in Kansas City.

In a Fast Company article titled, "Why You Should Start a Business in ... Kansas City," the biggest draw was the number of mentorship programs available through non-profit organizations like the Kaufmann Foundation. The article interviews Bo Fishback, who runs Kaufmann Labs, a "startup incubator" of sorts which pays "entrepreneurs for up to six months while they

build out their startups." So what makes Kansas City such a dynamic startup town?

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kansas City: One of the few American cities where renting is cheaper than owning

Posted By on Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 1:25 PM

In KC, renting is cheaper.
  • In KC, renting is cheaper.
In KC, renting is cheaper.
Housing prices are dirt cheap in Kansas City, low enough to make even the most modest earners feel the pull of the American Dream.

But feel no regret, KC apartment-dwellers: According to a new study by a real estate website, this town is one of the few where renting is truly cheaper than own a home.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ameristar complains that competing Sugar Creek casino would be bad for Ameristar

Posted By on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Ameristar knows what's good for Missouri Ameristar.
  • Ameristar knows what's good for Missouri Ameristar.
Ameristar knows what's good for Missouri Ameristar.
Ameristar Casinos has released an "analysis" that predicts financial doom should state regulators approve a casino for Sugar Creek. But it's hard to take seriously when the people doing the analyzing would be the ones doomed by the competition.

State regulators are weighing where, if anywhere, they should allow a

13th casino, which would hold the Missouri's last gambling license. The proposed casinos still in the running are in St. Louis, Cape

Girardeau and Sugar Creek, 10 miles east of Kansas City.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Architects tell Highwoods to go back to the drawing board on proposed law office

Posted By on Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Highwoods Properties wants to drop this baby on the Plaza.
  • Highwoods Properties wants to drop this baby on the Plaza.

The Kansas City chapter of the American Institute of Architects is asking Highwoods Properties to redo its proposal for a law office on one of the Country Club Plaza's original blocks.

In a letter describing the Plaza as one of Kansas City's "few special places," the AIA board says the design of Polsinelli Shughart's headquarters "needs to be significantly reconsidered," which is a polite way of saying that it's too big and too ugly.

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