Prairiefire getting a new tenant in HomeGoods; new Leawood boutique opens

HomeGoods plans to open in the 24,000-square-foot former Fresh Market building in August.
HomeGoods plans to open in the 24,000-square-foot former Fresh Market building in August.

Overland Park’s Prairiefire lost its gourmet supermarket, Fresh Market, in mid-2016, as the chain closed 13 stores in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Texas.

Occupancy in the center’s first phase dropped to 90 percent, even as Fresh Market was still paying rent.

But Prairiefire developer Fred Merrill Jr. said another retailer, HomeGoods, approached him a week later to start negotiations. He said it has now signed a lease for the 24,000-square-foot freestanding building at 6261 W. 135th St. and plans to remodel the store for an August opening. Officials with HomeGoods couldn’t be reached for comment.

“HomeGoods is one of the major retailers in the country right now actively increasing sales. It goes across all kinds of income levels. It is almost like a treasure hunt, always changing,” he said. “I think the new retail is a real mixture of merchandising. Customers will go get a pair of shoes at some fancy retail store and their jeans came from Target.”

HomeGoods said it offers an ever-changing selection of kitchen items, rugs, lighting, bedding, bath, furniture and more, all priced generally 20 percent to 60 percent below comparable merchandise sold at department and specialty stores.

Its parent company, TJX Companies Inc., is a leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions with $30.9 billion in revenues in 2015, the latest figure available. It has more than 3,600 stores in 9 countries and three e-commerce sites under the HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Sierra Trading Post brands.

Overland Park’s Prairiefire was planned as an upscale center. But since it opened in 2013, the national retail landscape has changed considerably, with a current shakeout of many longtime retailers — some closing a few stores, some closing for good. And while discounter HomeGoods might not fit Merrill’s original vision of an upscale center, he said it fits today’s retail marketplace.

“We have to bring in tenants that we feel are going to be successful,” he said. “We still have very upscale tenants but there is going to be a mixture. You just have to be very, very sensitive of the upscale tenants and the value retailers you get.”

New in Leawood

Fashion boutique chain Scout & Molly’s has opened a 2,000-square-foot store at 5228 W. 119th St. in Leawood’s Town Center Plaza.

It offers upscale designer women’s clothing. It will have a grand opening on May 6 with discounts and more. Susan Williams is the local franchisee.

An Aveda Lifestyle Salon also plans to open soon in Town Center Plaza.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC