Branson Landing becomes reality with groundbreaking on Saturday
The stage is literally set for the Saturday high noon groundbreaking of Branson Landing, the biggest development in Branson's history.
City officials anticipate close to 500 people attending the ceremony hosted by nationally known entertainer Andy Williams with Missouri Governor Bob Holden the featured speaker.
The festivities begin at 11 a.m. with music, complimentary refreshments for the public, and watercraft entertainment on Lake Taneycomo followed by the groundbreaking ceremony. A unique live performance takes place during the ceremony that will mystify the audience.
The public is encouraged to bring a rug or folding chair to watch the show. It will be the last chance to picnic on the lakefront until the project opens in March 2006.
The actual turning of the dirt at the conclusion of the ceremony will include more than just dignitaries with shovels.
"Branson Landing is a special project for Branson and we wanted to make the groundbreaking just as special and memorable for the citizens of our community," said Mayor Pro Tem Ron Huff. "We have appreciated their support of our development, and now it's time to celebrate the start of construction."
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on the site of the former Sammy Lane Resort just south of Main Street at the lakefront. Public parking will be located on the south end of the Sammy Lane property next to the city campground. VIP parking is located on the vacant land bounded by Main, Atlantic, Boxcar Willie and Lake Street. Signs and police officers will direct visitors to the parking areas, and attendants will assist motorists to their parking spaces.
Starting Monday, May 17, safety fencing will be installed around the Branson Landing property, and crews and equipment begin moving in to start construction. The Branson Landing development and construction team, headed by primary developer HCW Development Company of Branson, is comprised of nationally recognized and experienced firms.
Urban Retail Properties of Chicago, the nation's leading and most successful third party management company, is undertaking leasing and management of the project.
The completed Branson Landing project comprises:
• $300 Million Project
• 95 acres of downtown waterfront land
• Situated Between US 65 and Lake Taneycomo, adjacent to historic downtown Branson·
• Banson Landing shopping, restaurant, and entertainment complex will occupy 1.5 miles of waterfront on Lake Taneycomo.
• The site, walking distance from the edge of Branson's entertainment district, will include 500,000 sq ft of retail space (over 100 shops) and several marinas ?
• Bass Pro Shops of Springfield, MO will build a 40,000-60,000 square foot retail store and marina on the waterfront
• Belk Inc of North Carolina will build up to 82,000 square foot fashion department store
• The esplanade will be lined with retail space tiered up from the lake and in an outdoor mall/promenade style
• A new town square on the waters edge will link to a winding north-south running boardwalk along the shoreline. The public town square will be large enough to accommodate 5,000 people for festivals, musical events and other outdoor activities.
• Brand-name tenants will be mixed with galleries and shops offering regional arts and crafts, as well as specialty retailers
• A cross section of eateries -- from large themed restaurants to intimate cafes and kiosks.
• 4,000 parking spaces
• 140+ condominiums
• Boutique hotel with 100 rooms
• Nightly music, light and water events, and a rolling schedule of activities, festivals and promotions, will keep visitors entertained throughout their visit.
• Regional convention center totaling 220,000 sq ft
• 56,000 sq ft of leasable exhibition space
• 20,000 sq ft ballroom/banquet space
• 32,000 sq ft meeting space and business center
• The Great Hall exhibit center will fit as many as 6,500 people
• The Ballroom will fit 2,500 people and is divisible into 3 rooms holding 800 people each
• 260 room convention center hotel with indoor/outdoor restaurant/café and views of Lake Taneycomo