After years of economic stagnation, downtown Shawnee blooms for business

KMBZ News Staff
October 09, 2019 - 5:37 am

Milkos / Getty Images


Shawnee, KS - For business owners like Courtney Servaes the economic growth in downtown Shawnee came at an opportune moment.

And since she lives in West Shawnee with her wife and two kids, opening the Servaes Brewing Company in Old Shawnee was a no-brainer. 

"We were driving down Johnson Drive, and it occurred to me that it was a great downtown," Servaes said. "There are tons of businesses, it's a really walkable downtown area."

That walkability tipped the scales in favor of the Johnson Drive location, as opposed to the "old standard", as Servaes put it, of Shawnee Mission Parkway. 

It's not just breweries, though.

While the economic incentive to build or relocate to Shawnee may not have existed before, it does now, says Ann Smith-Tate, president and CEO of the Shawnee Economic Development Council.

"I just think it's Shawnee's time," Smith-Tate said, "I think a lot of other areas have reached a saturation point, or are near buildout, and people are kind of looking at what the next opportunity may be."

Among those opportunities in the works are a number of restaurants, breweries like Servaes, new apartment complexes and office spaces.


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