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Aquarium developer to rehabilitate Grand Palace building

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With construction underway on its Branson aquarium along the 76 Strip, Los Angeles-based Kuvera Partners is moving to rehabilitate the adjacent building that formerly housed the Grand Palace.

Along with the renaming of the building to the Branson Boardwalk, officials will remove the front-facing, blighted portion, according to a news release.

“We’ll be able to strip out everything from the concrete structure – the part that was the theater itself – to allow for future use,” partner Tej Sundher said in the release. “But our environmental studies showed that the wooden elements, including the plantation-style facade that contained the lobby and staircases, are too permeated with black mold to be restored.”

Kuvera Partners agreed to remediate the long-closed theater as part of its tax increment financing package agreement reached earlier this year for its $51 million Aquarium at the Boardwalk. The developer is set to receive $7 million in TIF assistance over 15-23 years, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

A man-made lake also is planned at the Branson Boardwalk development. Kuvera Partners spokeswoman Aileen Stein said a use for the Grand Palace building has not yet been determined but company officials would “continue to study the best options for our future phases in creating a fun, family-friendly site where visitors will make great memories.”

In the theater building, Kuvera Partners recovered several items, such as its chandelier in the lobby and a piano signed by stars who performed there. The company plans to refurbish the items and donate them to the community, according to the release.

After Kuvera Partners bought the Grand Palace property in 2014 for $2.7 million, the company last year began making moves seeking tax incentives for its aquarium plans at the site, SBJ previously reported.

Crossland Construction Co. Inc. broke ground on the 46,000-square-foot aquarium — which features a giant octopus as the exterior — in February with a targeted completion date of mid-2020.

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