Branson TIF Commission to Meet About New Aquarium

Location of proposed "Aquarium at the Boardwalk"at the corner of Glory Road and Highway 76.
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Location of the proposed “Aquarium at the Boardwalk.” It’s located in the northwest corner of the Grand Palace property at the corner of Glory Road and Highway 76.

Melody Pettit, Communications Director for the City of Branson, confirms that the Branson TIF Commission (Tax Increment Financing Commission) will meet Jan. 17, 2019 at 6 p.m. The purpose of the meeting relates to a TIF request by Kuvera Partners for TIF assistance. That assistance involves the redevelopment of a portion of the Grand Palace property on the Branson Strip. The project will be named the “Aquarium at the Boardwalk.”

Branson TIF Covers Small Portion of Grand Palace Property

Aileen Stein, Director Corporate Communications, for Kuvera Partners, the owners of the Hollywood Wax Museum and other Branson attractions, says that the proposed aquarium site is approximately 1.64 acres. The total size of the property’s total of 13.26 acres. Stein further states that “The 1.64-acre aquarium site ensures that Branson TIF revenues generated by the aquarium only will be used to provide reimbursement for the costs of the aquarium project.” She also advises that the City’s consultants have made a determination  that approximately 4.832 acres of the entire site will be reasonably necessary for things like  parking, outdoor common areas.

TIF will be used to develop the total property

In response to a question asking if this will be the only Branson TIF for the development of the total Grand Palace property and that any future development will be done without a TIF, Stein answered, “Yes, that is correct….Future phases are in conceptual stages, but, as mentioned earlier, Kuvera Partners will not be requesting TIF assistance for additional development on the property.”

Stein advises that as part of the development of the aquarium, there will be site improvements throughout the Grand Palace property. She said, “The purpose is to alleviate the conditions of blight that currently exist on the property during the development of the aquarium. This will both ensure the success of the aquarium and allow for the Grand Palace building to be redeveloped and occupied at a later time.”

Branson TIF is “Pay As You Go”

If granted this will be a pay as you go TIF. Stein said, “Kuvera Partners will only be reimbursed for eligible TIF costs that hey actually incur (plus interest, financing costs and administrative fees) and only to the extent that TIF revenues are generated by the aquarium site and are available to make reimbursements.”

TIF Recommendation to Branson Board of Aldermen

After its meeting and a Public Hearing the Branson TIF Commission will make a formal recommendation to the Branson Board of Aldermen. Such recommendation notwithstanding, the final decision on whether or not to grant the TIF will be made by the Branson Board of Alderman in the normal course of conducting their business.

Typically this will involve its presentation at one of the Board’s regular meetings for consideration and a first reading. As part of that process the public is given a chance to provide input. If it receives the Board’s approval it will then be put on the “Consent Agenda” for the next meeting. The Board will approve the entire Consent Agenda as part of a single motion unless a request is made to remove it from the Consent Agenda by either an Alderman or audience member and receives the Boards approval.