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Taney County project pipeline tops $800M

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A pair of attractions currently under construction along the 76 Strip in Branson lead a list of nearly three dozen projects valued at more than $800 million being monitored by a Taney County economic development organization.

“We’re not involved in every project in Taney County,” said Jonas Arjes, executive director of the Taney County Partnership. “But the project report I have is at $800 million in the pipeline. Some are on hold, some are quiet and some are trucking right along.”

The agency is tracking 34 projects, Arjes said, adding they vary from tourism-related to infrastructure and housing. He said 16 of them fall into the tourism, retail or lodging sector, while five are manufacturing or wholesale projects. Six currently are classified as inactive.

“It’s a little higher than we’ve typically had,” Arjes said of the project list.

The list has grown more in recent years, as some projects have remained under development for years.

One of those is Aquarium at the Boardwalk, a $51 million development under construction at 2700 W. 76 Country Blvd. Arjes said the aquarium, which is located at the site of the former Grand Palace, has been on Taney County Partnership’s radar since 2014. That’s the same year Los Angeles-based Kuvera Partners purchased the property for $2.7 million. The developer is set to receive $7 million in tax increment financing assistance over 15-23 years after getting a green light for the package earlier this year from the Branson Board of Aldermen.

The aquarium project came to fruition after several years of waiting, but Arjes acknowledged some projects on the list likely would never happen.

“Each project has its own nuances,” he said, adding the group designates them as new, active, announced, completed or inactive. “They are all unique.”

Other notable announced projects are Nature’s Wonders LLC, a Harrison, Arkansas-based health food store entering Branson; WonderWorks, an indoor, science-based amusement park coming to 2835 W. 76 Country Blvd.; D’Monaco Luxury Resort expansions totaling $40 million; Eastern Taney County Senior Center; The Grand Village Shops expansion; and American Gondola Inc.’s $160 million-plus gondola system along 76 Country Boulevard. Arjes declined to name other projects, as they haven’t been formally announced.

“It ebbs and flows, like everything. As some of these hit, it amplifies us as a market,” he said. “These places opening get people’s attention.”

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