For the second time in two years, Liberty-based B&B Theatres is preparing to build a multiscreen movie theater in Ozark, and one of the last pieces of government approval is expected Monday night.
The target location this time is Town & Country Village, a 69-acre project under development by Gunnett LLC, a joint venture of Springfield-based S.L. Stinnett & Co. and St. Louis real estate firm Gundaker Commercial.
B&B had originally planned to work with Michigan-based Plazacorp Realty to build an eight-screen theater in downtown Ozark. But when Plazacorp and the city were unable to agree on financing and incentives, B&B looked to its plan B location: five acres in the 20-acre Phase I of Town & Country, just west of the U.S. Highway 65 and Missouri Highway 14 intersection.
Now, according to S.L. Stinnett & Co. President Steve Stinnett, the developer is preparing to enter an agreement with the city to add the theater project. The agreement would also include changes to existing transportation development and community improvement districts at the site.
Stinnett said the $7.5 million project would comprise 40,000 square feet - 30,000 for a 10-screen theater, and another 10,000 square feet of retail space - to complement the existing Mitchum Jewelers and Peoples Bank of the Ozarks at the site.
A representative of B&B could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
"(The property) is under contract," Stinnett said. "The only contingency is for B&B to secure their financing, and they're working with two local banks, and it looks very promising."
Despite the current economic climate, Stinnett said B&B's status as owner-user, along with the company's 80-year history, makes it a good candidate for lender financing.
"They have the wherewithal and track record, and they'll own and occupy the building," he said. "That makes banks a lot more comfortable."
In addition to the benefits of the theater development for the city - Stinnett said the project would draw customers from Nixa, Highlandville and Sparta - the new theater would act as a catalyst for Town & Country.
"This is huge ... for our project," he said, noting that two restaurants and a convenience store have said they want to build in the development once the theater breaks ground. "Securing an anchor like B&B helps us tremendously."[[In-content Ad]]