July 20, 2024

The Lake Tribune

your source for timely and in-depth local news, connecting you to the latest developments, stories, and events that matter most.

Osage Beach at a Turning Point: Rapid Development Raises Questions About Community’s Future

2 min read

Oasis at Lakeport: A $300-Million Family Resort and Entertainment District Planned for Osage Beach. (Rendering Courtesy, SkyView Partners)

OSAGE BEACH, MO. (The Lake Tribune) — Osage Beach and Lake Ozark, which have traditionally been a haven for summer tourists, are facing a transformative phase with new developments reshaping community dynamics. This influx of projects, from leisure complexes to residential buildings, brings both economic opportunities and concerns about the area’s future identity.

The $350 million amusement park, Oasis at Lakeport, near the Grand Glaize Bridge, promises to be a significant draw for tourists year-round, changing the seasonal nature of Osage Beach. This project is expected to boost the local economy and tourism sector dramatically.

Adding to the community’s evolving landscape, The Preserve at Sycamore Creek, a substantial 268-unit apartment complex by Tegethoff Development, is already underway. With an estimated cost of $63 million, the complex will offer a range of 1-bedroom to 3-bedroom units, with rents varying from $900 to $2,000 a month, indicating a shift in the housing market towards accommodating a growing permanent population.

Furthermore, the St. Louis-based Capstone Development Group’s proposal for The Crescent at Osage Beach, a 40-unit senior housing complex, caters to the over-52 demographic, reinforcing the trend towards more diverse residential options.

The Osage Nation’s proposed $60 million casino and hotel complex in Lake Ozark, still pending federal approval, could introduce a significant change in the area’s economic and recreational offerings. However, historical data indicates that the introduction of casinos in similar regions often leads to an increase in various types of crime over time. This pattern raises concerns among residents about the potential impact on the community’s safety and character.

Another potential area for growth is the Osage Beach Outlet Mall. There have been a few ideas on what development would look like with two recent local developers entertaining ideas of condos, on the backside of the mall to a new entertainment center and restaurants while opening up for retailers to start coming back under a new contract.

These developments collectively mark a shift in Osage Beach and the surrounding area from a predominantly tourist-oriented location to a more developed community. As the area experiences this growth, residents and local authorities are contemplating the implications of these changes on the traditional summer tranquility and safety of the region.

Facing this crucial juncture, the Lake Area is grappling with decisions that will shape its future. The challenge lies in embracing growth and development while preserving the unique character that has long defined this lakeside area retreat. The outcome of these developments will be pivotal in determining whether Osage Beach and Lake Ozark maintain their charm or transition into a more developed and potentially crowded area.

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