Aldermen approve major lease with Landing developer

The Branson Board of Aldermen approved, at its October 27 regular meeting, a long-term master lease agreement with HCW Development of Branson, developer of the Branson Landing project. The term of the lease is 99 years.

The lease takes effect when the city has closed on the financing for the convention center and other public improvements that total about $100 million. Those improvements include a boardwalk along Lake Taneycomo, a town square on the waterfront, utilities and streets.

Under the lease agreement, if the city decides not to build the convention center, HCW Development can elect to continue with the private project that includes the commercial and retail district.

Aldermen also approved a Technical Services Contract that requires HCW to obtain a commitment of at least $60 million in private financing for the Landing development by April 15, 2004. However, city officials can extend that deadline.

The approval of the lease agreement will expedite negotiations between HCW and prospective tenants for the project. HCW had said earlier it has commitments for about a third of the 300,000 square feet of retail space in the project, but some major tenants were unwilling to announce their plans until the Board of Aldermen approved the Master Lease, Technical Services Contract, and Redevelopment Contract.

Branson Mayor Lou Schaefer said the aldermen’s favorable vote on these contracts October 27 should show everyone the city’s commitment in this development.

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