Aquarium at the Boardwalk received initial approvl
At its Feb. 12 Regular meeting, the Branson Board of Aldermen (Board) unanimously approved the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the “Aquarium at the Boardwalk” project (Aquarium). Kuvera Partners, through its affiliated entity, Branson Entertainment Center – Branson, LLC, will build the $51 million aquarium in the northwest corner of the Grand Palace property, at the corner of Glory Road and Highway 76.
The Boards action follows a recommendation by the Branson TIF Commission recommending approval and two public hearings. One, before the TIF Commission and one before the Board, both giving the public opportunity to comment on the Aquarium TIF. The staff reports for the three bills relating to the Aquarium were all presented by attorney Joe Lauber, of Lauber Municipal Law LLC, who serves as the economic special council for the city of Branson.
Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan
The first bill approved the “Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan,” and that appropriate Tax Increment Financing be initiated. In conjunction with that, the bill declares the Proposed Redevelopment Area a Blighted Area, designates the Redevelopment Area and its Redevelopment Project, and designates Branson Entertainment Center – Branson, LLC, as the developer of the Redevelopment Project. It also approves the negotiation and entrance into a contract with Branson Entertainment Center – Branson, LLC for the implementation of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Plan.
Redevelopment Project Area 1 approved for TIF
The second bill approves “Redevelopment Project Area 1 of the Aquarium TIF and authorizes the use of a TIF in that area. Lauber explained that the total Redevelopment Project has been divided into two “Redevelopment Project Areas.” TIF Revenue will be captured only for Redevelopment Project Area 1, the 1.64 acre tract of land upon which the Aquarium will be constructed. No TIF is being requested and no TIF Revenue will be captured from Redevelopment Project Area 2, which is the remaining 11.62 acres of the 13.26 acre Grand Palace property.
The final Bill approves the TIF contract between the City of Branson, Missouri and Branson Entertainment Center – Branson LLC. It authorizes the implementation of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing Plan and the Mayor to execute the agreement.
Aquarium at the Boardwalk Tax Increment Financing
This was the Board’s “first reading” of each of the three bills. They will not become final until the “second reading” at the Boards next regular meeting scheduled for 26 Feb. Approval is almost automatic at the second meeting because the three bills will be placed on the Consent Agenda. The Consent Agenda is normally approved with one vote covering the multiple items on the Agenda. There is no discussion unless an Alderman, or someone from the audience, asks that an individual item be removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the Regular Agenda.