A multimillion-dollar project is in the works in Branson West at the same location where another major development project failed several years ago.
Developers held an announcement and groundbreaking ceremony June 12 for the project, called The Ridge at Table Rock Lake, at the Highway 76 intersection leading into the planned 810-acre mixed-use development. Colorado-based MD&D Investments LLC became owner of the property, the site of the Indian Ridge Resort project, in 2014.
Various financial and legal problems plagued Indian Ridge, which never developed beyond several residential properties that were abandoned.
Brookwood Group, a national real estate development, planning and management consulting firm, is working on behalf of development manager MD&D Investments to secure investors and developers for the new project, said Brookwood Senior Vice President Mark Troen. Work on the intersection, which includes a traffic signal and turn lane, has commenced, he said. It will have an estimated $1 million price tag and is expected to be complete in 120-150 days, he added.
The expansive plans call for residential and commercial properties, along with hospitality, entertainment and health care uses. However, no prospective developers or investors have been identified yet, as officials say initial conversations have involved nondisclosure agreements.
“The short answer is yes, we have interest, which is really great because this is based on a strategic marketing analysis and effort that we put forward actually beginning last year,” Troen said.
Troen said a website promoting The Ridge at Table Rock Lake was launched June 9.
There is no timetable yet for completion, Troen said, adding the market response will be a major factor in determining how long it will take to finish.
“There’s no question when you have 810 acres, that’s a lot of land,” he said. “This will take time.”
Developers have not established a current cost estimate for MD&D Investments, other than saying it could run in the seven- to eight-figure range. Indian Ridge’s foiled development plan was in excess of $1 billion.
For the municipality of Branson West, the new development plan is just what city officials ordered.
“We’ve been patiently waiting for something to take place. It’s been an eyesore,” said Branson West City Administrator Kenny Smith.
Smith and others in the city have been impressed with the development group and its plan for the land, stating he, Mayor Donna Hardesty and the Board of Aldermen have met with Troen on multiple occasions.
Smith added the city has been “hoping someone would come along to pick up where the others left off. And that’s exactly what has happened. So it’s good for Branson West and the entire county.”
Jonas Arjes, executive director of the Taney County Partnership, said his organization shared demographic and tourism data with Troen and the development group, but TCP has no direct involvement in the project.
“It appears to be a good project and a good sign to invest in infrastructure,” Arjes said. “At the end of the day, we’re neighboring counties, and we share the highs and lows of a regional tourism market. Any positive development breeds a new positive development.”
Acknowledging the market cycles, Troen said the development team has been conscious of looking at commercial, residential, and particularly the hospitality and entertainment market – major sectors in the Branson area, he added – to assemble its plan and pitch to potential investors.
The master developers have created a 31-page digital brochure detailing the site layout, with maps, artist renderings and a market breakdown of the Branson region: over 200 shops, 35,000 restaurant seats, 16,500 hotel/motel rooms, eight golf courses, 100 shows and nearly 65,000 theater seats. And one more thing: an $82,700 average household income for visitors to Branson. The brochure sites the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau as the data source.
Unlike the time period when Indian Ridge was in development, Troen said the current economy is strong and bodes well for the new project.
“We have every reason to believe that because of the strong economy, because of the tourism and 9 million visitors [to Branson] every year,” he said. “It’s that kind of strength that gives us the comfort and confidence that The Ridge at Table Rock Lake can succeed as well.”
Troen said MD&D Investments obtained the property through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which acquired it by sealed bid years after the Indian Ridge plan failed in 2008.
SBJ analyzes economic survey data results.
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