Joseph Crownover figures he’s found a gem – Englewood.

He recently moved his business, Four Corners Framed Art, to 10912 E. Winner Road, across from the old Englewood Theater. His shop is a fine art gallery and does custom framing.

“Englewood’s just a neat little area. … It’s got a lot of character,” he said.

Here’s what happened. He’s been in the business for many years and for the last seven had been on the Square in Liberty. But construction in the area told him it was time to look for someplace new. His customers come from all over and tend to find him, but location still matters.

“And we searched and searched and searched,” he said.

Englewood has arts business and promotes the arts, so that helps. And space was cheaper. He’s in a larger space than before, has made improvements and is in a long-term lease.

“So we’re not going anywhere,” he said.

The shop has been open since May 1, and customers have found their way there. And they comment on discovering Englewood.

“Yes, absolutely,” he said. “Everybody loves it.”

Englewood has a third Fridays event focused on art, and Crownover says that’s working well, attracting people and leading to sales. He plans to have a featured artist at each event. Next week, on Aug. 16, nationally known still-life painter Michael Boggess – “He’s incredible,” Crownover said – will be on hand.

“Third Friday Artwalk,” he said, “has been a really unique thing to see.”

Quick hits

Black Lemon Boutique has opened at 211 W. Maple St. on the Independence Square. Its focus is promoting healthy body images and “helping women dress comfortably and confidently.” The owner and CEO is Brandy Spearman. … Planet Fitness is moving into the old Nuts & Bolts space at 2337 S. Missouri 291 in Independence.

New math

Jackson County passed a threshold last year, according to the Missouri Census Data Center. Each July, the agency posts estimated populations by city and county. We’ll get a reset in a little less than two years when 2020 federal census numbers come out, but over the years the Data Center’s estimates have held up well.

Jackson County, as of July 2018, had an estimated 700,307 residents, surpassing 700,000 for the first time. It was 697,720 in 2017. Overall, estimated growth so far this decade is 3.9 percent.

Some Eastern Jackson County cities shape up like this:

• Grain Valley leads the way with 11.1 percent growth since 2010. It now has an estimated 14,277 residents.

• Lee’s Summit, the sixth-largest city in the state, looks likely to be close to 100,000 people by next spring’s census. It’s July 2018 estimate is 98,461, up 7.8 percent this decade.

• Independence, according to Data Center figures, has been basically static, with a July 2018 estimate of 116,926 and 0.1 percent growth so far this decade.

• Blue Springs, at 55,104, is up 4.7 percent since 2010.

What about Missouri as a whole? Growth has been pretty anemic – just 2.3 percent this decade – and the population is an estimated 6.13 million.

– Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365 or He’s on Twitter at @FoxEJC.