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US$51m aquarium project for Missouri given green light

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A long-vacant property in the city of Branson, Missouri, US, is to be transformed into a US$51m (€45m, £40.5m) aquarium following a vote from city officials.

The 46,000sq ft (4,274sq m) development will be created by Los Angles-based Kuvera Partners through its affiliate company Branson Entertainment Center – Branson (BECB).

Called Aquarium at the Boardwalk, the new attraction will take visitors on an underwater journey, enjoying views of a wide variety of marine life.

Kuvera Partners designed and planned the aquarium in collaboration with St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations, an aquarium specialist that has been designing zoo and aquarium exhibits for over 50 years for clients including Georgia Aquarium, SeaWorld and Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China.

The aquarium will be partly tax-funded through tax increment financing (TIF) model. The amount of TIF assistance being requested is US$7 million (€6.2m, £5.6m), or 13.7 per cent of the overall project costs. TIF funding is acceptable for projects when the amount is less than 20 per cent of the total project costs according to city legislation.

"The city took the proper and necessary action to thoroughly vet our numbers before getting to this point and we’re glad to be moving forward with this process," said Kuvera partner Tej Sundher on the financing agreement process.

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A long-vacant property in the city of Branson, Missouri, US, is to be transformed into a US$51m (€45m, £40.5m) aquarium following a vote from city officials.
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