Hammons hotel gains final nod

Joyce L. Miller

The Osage Beach Board of Aldermen gave final approval to an agreement for a $3.5 million TIF requested by John Q. Hammons to help fund project costs for Chateau on Lake of the Ozarks.

Hammons unveiled the development in March. Since then, the project has gained the approval of the Osage Beach TIF commission and the board of aldermen. The city’s TIF commission approved the proposal in a unanimous vote in October.

The only board member to vote against implementing the TIF was Eric Medlock, who said he stood by his earlier position, stating he did not believe the project area met the criteria to be designated blighted.

The Hammons project has triggered a lawsuit. The suit challenges whether the proposed site for the Hammons hotel/resort meets the criteria of blight as defined by state statues.

The suit alleges by approving the Tax Increment Financing district for the project, the actions of the city were arbitrary and capricious. The suit was filed Dec. 7 by Four Seasons Marina Rentals Inc. of Lake Ozark, the day after the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen approved the ordinance for the $3.5 million TIF for the Hammons development.

According to records on file with the Missouri Secretary of State s office, Mark Brown, Peter Brown and Susan Brown are listed on the companies’ documents as principals of Four Seasons Marina Rentals Inc. The suit was filed on behalf of the Four Seasons corporation by attorney John Curran of Osage Beach.

A TIF is a tax incentive designed to assist developers with costs associated with redevelopment. A TIF provides for the repayment of bonds for construction costs to be repaid by the difference between pre- and post-development taxes generated by the project.

Taxing entities, such as schools and fire districts, agree to defer percentages in increase in taxes but continue to collect the pre-development tax on the project until the bonds are retired.

Also on the agenda was a public hearing and action on a petition filed by Hammons to establish a $3 million Community Improvement District. A CID is a financing tool that allows developers to recoup some costs through collection of a sales tax from businesses within the project. A CID is handled separately from a TIF.

Based on the developer s timeline, the resort/hotel complex is scheduled to be ready for occupancy by spring 2010.

Contact this reporter at joycem@lakesunleader.com.