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Longtime Plaza luxury retailer relocating to Johnson County

St. John Knits has been on the Plaza for 18 years, but it did not renew its lease at 234 Nichols Road.
St. John Knits has been on the Plaza for 18 years, but it did not renew its lease at 234 Nichols Road. jsmith@kcstar.com

After nearly two decades on the Country Club Plaza, women’s luxury brand St. John Knits will relocate.

Its lease was up in May, and the retailer chose not to renew it. Instead it will close at 234 Nichols Road on Saturday, July 28, and will relocate to the 1900 Building, at 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Mission Woods, for a July 30 opening.

Manager Chris Crippin Kerns said the new location, called St. John Kansas City House, will offer a “more intimate luxury shopping experience.”

“Everything is upscale in this new space — from the furniture to the wall coverings — more of a salon feel than a store feel,” Kerns said. “The most current collection will be available, the entire collection.”

It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment on weekends, and will have two designated parking spaces in front of the store. The new location also will host events with a focus on fashion, art and design.

Kerns said tourist traffic has been down for the last couple of years, but most of her brick-and-mortar clients are local.

“St. John clients are loyal, and they will seek out the new location,” she said. “Not only do we have Kansas City clients but many of our clients are all over the country, who order by phone or email.”

Kerns said she was told the space would be divided for two new tenants.

Plaza officials declined to comment

The 1900 Building was originally the H.D. Lee Jeans office, research and development, and manufacturing facility starting in 1966. It was later headquarters for the Marley Co. and Layne Energy. Karbank purchased it in 2013 and has since expanded and redeveloped it, including the new Restaurant at 1900.

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