A longtime timeshare resort in a prominent location near Branson Landing is getting a new lease on life as a multimillion-dollar residential condominium project.
Branson-based real estate development and construction company Lifestyle Contractors LLC recently started an extensive renovation project to transform the former Roark Vacation Resort into one- and two-bedroom condominiums. The first group of the 127-unit development, comprising 10 buildings along Roark Creek, which flows into Lake Taneycomo, are expected to be available by early 2024, said Karl Finkenbinder, chief operating officer for both Lifestyle Contractors and its sister company, MRG Group LLC. The latter company acquired the 7-acre property for an undisclosed price from Capital Resorts Group LLC.
“These are all existing units. We’re not building any new product,” he said of the project, dubbed Roark Creek Condominiums. “It’s all being rehabbed and completely remodeled. People who buy a condominium unit there will have access to the fitness center and all the amenities, which include an outdoor pool, indoor pool and boat dock.”
Finkenbinder said most developments Lifestyle Contractors has tackled in recent years are built on vacant land as vacation and short-term rental units. Working exclusively in Stone and Taney counties, some of its recent projects include Chateau Cove, Wilderness Mountain and Summer Bay. However, he said Roark Creek Condominiums is a hybrid.
“Although there are people that will buy units to put them as a nightly rental, we anticipate the buyers there will utilize it either as their primary residence or a secondary residence,” he said. “Some people may buy it and rent it out on a long-term basis.”
Cole Currier, owner of real estate agency Currier & Co,, connected Lifestyle Contractors with the property he said originally opened as a Holiday Inn in the late 1970s. Additional buildings on the property were built into the late 1980s.
“For the majority of its life, it was in timeshare use,” Finkenbinder said. “We don’t deal with timeshares, and our company is not associated with that. We’ll be selling whole ownership.”
Currier said his company met with Lifestyle Contractors officials about possible projects and included the Roark Creek property near the end of his presentation. He said Lifestyle Contractors instantly identified the value of the property, due to its location and opportunity to renovate a large development – an attractive option over new construction. Part of the property faces the roundabout intersection that serves as the main entrance to Branson Landing on the east side of town.
“This property was thought of as something that could be rehabbed into something that had a different value just by redefining it as it stands,” Currier said.
Finkenbinder said while the buildings have quality construction, such as prestressed concrete, some of the units fell into considerable disrepair, as the buildings have sat vacant for the past few years. All units will have new cabinets, flooring and appliances, he said.
“We didn’t just go in and repaint,” he said. “We stripped it down to the Sheetrock. There’s some considerable costs to do that. But still, if we had to tear down the buildings and start from scratch, the project would not happen.”
The 10 buildings, listed on promotional materials as A-J, are being renovated in phases. Buildings A-D are getting attention first, Finkenbinder said, adding demolition work is complete in the first building and almost done in the second. Renovations for both buildings, which comprise 55 units, are expected to wrap by January, followed in March or April for buildings C and D.
“We’re not gutting the exteriors but, obviously, we had to reroof, and there are some portions that fell into disrepair, so anything like that will have to be gutted,” he said, noting an example was replacing one of the building’s staircases. “Right now, we’re finalizing our construction budget on all remaining units. Just on building A alone, that will exceed $4 million in construction costs.”
All 55 units of the first two buildings getting renovations have been presold, Currier said, adding he also is an adviser on the project. Prices range $97,900-$137,900, depending on size and views, as those that overlook the pool cost more, according to officials. One-bedroom condos are roughly 600 square feet, while two-bedroom units are 850 square feet.
“I knew this would be a popular project, but we weren’t quite ready for that level of demand,” he said, adding 12 units in buildings C and D were sold within 18 hours of being listed online. “A listing under $100,000 in this market is extremely uncommon. We were able to add probably 15 of those first units at under $100,000 for a one-bedroom condo.”
The remainder of the buildings will receive attention next year, Finkenbinder said, adding they are yet to be demolished, repaired or sold. Sales have generated around $12 million to date, he said, adding if all 127 units sell, the total should rise to more than $20 million.
“Our intent is to put these on the market sooner rather than later,” he said. “They may not be completed until 2025, but I don’t think anything will be left or available for sale beyond March of next year.”
The next release of units likely will be in mid-October, officials say.
“We’re excited about the project,” Finkenbinder said. “I don’t want to say that the property was blighted, but it’s a project that is very visible in Branson, both to locals and tourists, due to its location. As it started to deteriorate, it was somewhat unattractive. It’s breathing new life into a notable property in the area. It’ll be good – not just for us but for the community.”
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