Missouri Economic Department approves state TIF for Branson
The Missouri Department of Economic Development has approved the state tax increment financing (TIF) for the city of Branson's 208 acre lakefront development known as Branson Landing. The state TIF will pay for a portion of the development by providing about $54 million in funding to the city over 19 years.
"The announcement of the state TIF for Branson will now accelerate our ability to secure major retail tenants in the Branson Landing project," said Mayor Lou Schaefer. "But most importantly, the state TIF allows us to proceed with the development of a convention and exhibition center in downtown Branson, a major component of the whole lakefront development."
Schaefer also expressed appreciation to Missouri Governor Bob Holden and the director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Joe Driskill for the confidence and support they have shown in recognizing Branson as a major generator of tourism dollars in the state.
With the convention center now on track, the private developer of the lakefront project, HCW Development of Branson, has announced that Hilton Hotels will build a four-star, 300 room hotel next to the convention center.
The planned convention center will be a 220,000 square foot facility with 60,000 square feet of leasable exhibition space, 20,000 square feet for ballrooms/banquet rooms, 15,000 square feet of meeting space and business center.
The exhibit center will have modular elements that will allow the space to be incrementally downsized. As many as 2,500 people will fit into the facility's plenary hall, which is divisible into three rooms accommodating 800 people each.
The retail portion of Branson Landing along the Taneycomo Lakefront will feature a major outdoor sporting goods store, specialty shops and restaurants. Also complementing the overall downtown attraction will be a boardwalk along the lake, a town square at the end of Main Street on the waterfront, and spectacular fountains.
"This is a good project for the city of Branson that will complement other developments already under way in the area," said Driskill. " We have been working with Branson officials for many months on this application to make sure it complies with guidelines established by state law, and that it ensures that the state and its citizens will have a good return on the state investment. We are satisfied it will advance the interests of Branson and the state."
The retail component of the project is scheduled to open in the spring of 2005 with the convention center and hotel opening in late fall of 2005.