LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — A major event center, hotel, and sports facility is in the later stages of development at Lake of the Ozarks.
Local developers are behind the project: the Foster family, through their company Peninsula LLC. Dr. Dan Foster has been building condos at the Lake and across Missouri for decades; he and his son Chris are two of the principle partners of Peninsula. They’ve partnered with Dave Mashburn of Mashburn Development (http://davemashburn.com/about.html), who has worked as director of development for Bass Pro Shops and John Q Hammons Hotels and Resorts, and held senior level positions with True North Hotel Group and Leisure Hotels and Resorts.
Their plan? To build a flexible event and indoor sports center and lodging facility on waterfront property just outside Osage Beach, upstream of Margaritaville.
“This will be a very unique facility,” Mashburn told LakeExpo. “Truly a hybrid building that can accommodate multiple types of events including Youth Sports, Esports, Trade Shows, Conventions, Concerts and other events. This flexibility will allow us to adapt to market demands and fill seasonal slow periods.”
The artistic renderings provided by the developers are striking and ambitious: two cylindrical hotel towers welcome guests to stunning views of the Lake, and a vast arena at the back of the cove invites athletes to come and play.
The project is more than just an idea or set of drawings: the Camden County Commission recently voted to enter into an agreement with Peninsula LLC to move forward with exploring a tax increment financing (TIF) proposal for the project. According to Chris Foster, the TIF would allow the developers to facilitate a development that would not normally be possible. The retention of the increased property tax they would have paid as a result of the increased value of the property will help pay off the costs of development—infrastructure and otherwise. “In a sense, allowing us to reinvest our property tax into the development that generated that higher tax will help this project come to fruition, benefitting the whole Lake area,” he explained.
Dr. Dan Foster says this is a community-oriented project that he envisions as a dramatic expansion for Camden County, Osage Beach and the entire Lake area. “It has taken time and money to put this together but it has been worth the effort,” Foster, a former Osage Beach alderman, said. “My family has been in Camden County since the 1820s and we want to give something back. The area has long wanted and needed a year-round event center. We are partnering with a major indoor sports group to build something that will be an enduring value for the entire lake community.”
They hope to break ground by summer 2022, if the TIF package is approved.
Chris Foster said a partnership is already in place with a major company that runs sporting events, to manage the sports complex.
Peninsula will fund the legal framework necessary for the county to proceed with the tax increment financing process. A TIF arrangement allows a developer to use the difference - the increment - between the pre-development real estate taxes and the post-development real estate taxes to issue bonds for funding infrastructure. In the lake area Eagles Landing, Prewitt’s Point and Dierbergs developments have been facilitated by TIF agreements.
The Foster family has been in the area for eight generations, residing in Old Linn Creek before being relocated due to the construction of Bagnell Dam in the 1930s. Dr. Dan Foster has been developing at the Lake for decades, and is one of the most accomplished condo developers in the state of Missouri. The Fosters are also partners in Legacy Developments, one of the buyers in the recent purchase of the Osage Beach Outlet Mall. Chris Foster also serves as the Chair of the Board of the Directors of the Santa Monica Pier, one of the most recognizable tourist attractions in the world. They emphasized their partnership with Dave Mashburn is key in bringing a world-class destination to the Lake of the Ozarks.
The Lake's Boom
This project announcement comes as the Lake area has seen a surge of interest in major developments in the past two years, including:
• Ballparks National, the privately owned destination youth baseball complex that opened in late 2020 and saw impressive attendance numbers for its first full tournament season in 2021
• ambitious new condo projects like Topsider—currently under construction at the Grand Glaize Bridge and sold out since Labor Day 2021
• the Osage Commons shopping center, where the anchor store, Hobby Lobby, is expected to open this year
• the purchase and planned redevelopment of the Osage Beach Outlet Mall
• interest expressed by private developers and the Osage Nation to build major casinos at the Lake.