Public Hearing Held For Aquarium at the Boardwalk TIF
The Branson Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission held a Public Hearing on Jan. 18 regarding the TIF Plan for the proposed $51 million “Aquarium at the Boardwalk” project. If the TIF is approved by the Branson Board of Aldermen, Kuvera Partners, through its affiliated entity, Branson Entertainment Center – Branson, LLC, will build the aquarium in the northwest corner of the Grand Palace property, at the corner of Glory Road and Highway 76. It also includes the partial demolition of the Grand Palace.
Aquarium at the Boardwalk TIF $7 Million out of $51 Million
At the hearing Kuvera Partner Tej Sunder went through a series of slides relating to the financing of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk. The total cost of the project is $51 million. Of that total Kuvera, through a combination of Partner’s Equity and Debt, is putting up $44 million or 87.3 % of the total project cost. The requested TIF is for $7 million or 13.7 % of the cost.
Partial Demolition of Grand Palace is Eligible TIF Expenditure
Sundar also points out that the TIF is a “pay as you go TIF.” The $7 million is reimbursable only from the revenue and increases in property value generated by the project. Even then, it has to be a TIF Eligible Expenditure as specified in the TIF Plan. One of the TIF Eligible Expenditures in the Plan is $763,000 for the “Partial Demolition of Existing Structures.” While showing slides illustrating the blighted conditions at the front end of the Grand Palace building, Sundar explained that the steel and cement structure in the rest of the building will be preserved at this time.
Aquarium at the Boardwalk to be Built Away From Existing Grand Palace Structure
The Aquarium at the Boardwalk is being built away from the current Grand Palace building and will have no connection with it at all. It’s in the Redevelopment Project Area 1 while the Grand Palace building is located in Redevelopment Project Area 2. Under the proposed TIF Plan revenues can only be captured from Redevelopment Project Area 1.
Questions Asked of Kuvera Partners
To clarify how TIF Revenues from Redevelopment Project Area 1 can be used for the reimbursement of expenses in Redevelopment Project Area 2, where no TIF is authorized, we sent a series of question to Ailenn Stein Director Corporate Communications, Kuvera Partners. The questions, in bold, and Kuvera’s response is as follows:
Our understanding is that the total TIF Redevelopment Area is 13.26 acres, the entire Grand Palace Property and that it has been broken down into two TIF Project Redevelopment Areas(RPAs); RPA 1 and RPA 2. Does the TIF apply to both RPA’s or just one?
The TIF is being requested and TIF Revenue will be captured only for … RPA 1…, which is a 1.64-acre tract of land upon which the Aquarium at the Boardwalk will be constructed. No TIF is being requested and no TIF Revenue will be captured from …RPA 2, which is the remaining 11.62 acres of the 13.26-acre Grand Palace property.
At the meeting remedial work to the front of the existing Grand Place building was discussed. In the TIF Plan it appears as a TIF Eligible Expenditure, but it is located in RPA 2. Can TIF revenue from RPA 1 be used to remedy blight in RPA 2?
Correct. In connection with the development of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk, there will be remediation of the conditions of blight that exist throughout the Grand Palace property [TIF Redevelopment Area], including parts of RPA 2. This remediation of blight is a TIF-eligible cost that is part of the overall TIF Plan. Although some of the TIF eligible costs are being incurred within RPA 2, those costs can only be reimbursed from TIF Revenues generated within RPA 1.
Is it correct to say any TIF Eligible Expenditure may be recovered for remedial work throughout the total TIF Redevelopment Area covered by the TIF Plan, but that the TIF Revenues to reimburse those expense can only be collected from within TPA 1?
Yes, that’s right.