Oasis at Lakeport, the planned resort and entertainment district in Osage Beach, is up for consideration for economic development incentives in the coming weeks.
The Osage Beach Board of Alderman approved a resolution earlier this month that referred a tax increment financing (TIF) application on to the city's TIF Commission, which will begin its consideration with a meeting March 27.
A TIF is an economic development tool that allows developers to finance improvements in blighted areas using a portion of the additional sales and/or property tax revenue brought in through the development to recoup some of the redevelopment costs.
The Board of Aldermen's approval was recommended by the city's staff and consultants. Stakeholders considered the project's TIF plan, cost-benefit analysis and a qualification study for Lakeport Village, a planned residential section, before making the recommendation.
The commission will hear statements from the city and developers, in addition to an overview of the TIF process, at 6 p.m. March 27 at Osage Beach City Hall. Two weeks later, on April 17, the commission will hold a public hearing to take further testimony from the teams behind the project and consider further recommendations.
The overall cost of the project is expected to come in at around $356.9 million, with the TIF bringing in no more than $51.8 million as long as a community improvement district is also approved. If not, TIF contributions will be capped at around $42.3 million, according to the TIF plan.
Oasis is slated to include about 24 acres of amusement rides and attractions -- including a 200-foot observation wheel, roller coasters and an arcade -- and an amphitheater, a marina and a boardwalk. The TIF proposal states the site is expected to include a 350-425 room hotel with at least 15,000 square feet of conference center facilities, a parking garage, and at least 15,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.
Rides will be constructed off-site while the site infrastructure is built-out, with the hotel space and water park expected to be completed in 2026. Initial amusement and entertainment projects are still expected to be completed in mid-2024. The resort is billed as a year-round business.
The project, which will be located at U.S. 54 and Jefferies Road adjacent to the Grand Glaize Bridge, was announced in October with a projected $300 million price tag and the support of lake-area officials, property and Big Thunder Marina owner Fred Ross and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. Kehoe projected it will create 500 new jobs and draw in 500,000 visitors to the community.
"We've been looking for a way to make this community more family-oriented. There are plenty of things to do for adults here, but if you're talking about something that might appeal more to people who are 18, 19, 20 years old and what they want to do? I think this would fit that," Harmison told the News Tribune in a previous interview. He did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
A news release said the Lakeport property was acquired by Big Thunder Marine in 2021, and that Ross saw the potential to bring something new to the lake area.
St. Louis-based Tegethoff Development and Sky-View Partners submitted plans with Osage Beach for the project in October. The project is set to begin construction this year and open next summer, with hopes of opening the doors by next Memorial Day.
For more information on the project, visit oasisatlakeport.com.