SUNRISE BEACH, MO. – On the Lake of the Ozarks, the west side is often referred to as the “quiet side,” with the majority of investment and development taking place in the east-facing towns of Osage Beach and Lake Ozark. A tax incentive known as the “Opportunity Zone” in the town of Sunrise Beach can bring the sounds of construction and growth to this community on the west side of the lake.
Federal and possible state tax incentives attract investors to develop on the calm side of Lake Ozarks. According to Roger Corbin, Urban Planner at Sunrise Beach, these developments – some of which are already underway – are designed to alleviate the crucial shortage of housing for workers, create jobs, boost business, and increase census and sales tax revenues for the city and its surrounding areas Increase areas.
President Donald J. Trump’s 2018 federal income tax bill created Opportunity Zones as an economic development tool that investors can use to invest their money in distressed areas in the United States. The aim was to drive economic growth and job creation in low-income communities, and to provide tax benefits for investors.
According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED), Missouri relied heavily on local input to determine which areas were nominated as Opportunity Zones. Local governments were asked to identify areas for inclusion in the program by submitting a written proposal to DED. The municipalities prioritized their selection and provided DED with information on development plans and descriptions of recent and future investments. In addition to the local recommendations, the state looked at the potential of an opportunity zone to meet demand and generate investment impact.
The governor of each state nominated certain census areas as Opportunity Zones. Opportunity zones are low-income census areas where the area has a poverty rate of at least 20 percent or the area does not exceed 80 percent of the nation’s median family income.
Sunrise Beach Opportunity Zone
Mike Koenigsman, economic development specialist with the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments, said there are five opportunity zones in the Lake area: one in Sunrise Beach, Camden County and four in Laclede County. This means that Sunrise Beach’s Opportunity Zone is the only one on the Lake of the Ozarks.
The City of Sunrise Beach applied for and received the opportunity zone designation in 2019. This 25 square mile zone is located from the Hurricane Deck Bridge along Highway 5 (including the property to the east: Hurricane Dollies is in the zone) north of the Laurie City limits and an area in northern Camden County off Highway RA in Laurie, along Cup Tree Road in Gravois Mills. The map below shows the opportunity zone in green.
“Cities near the Opportunity Zone will also benefit from an increase in full-time residents who need housing, food, gas, restaurants and schools,” said Roger Corbin, Sunrise Beach urban planner.
According to Corbin, a development currently negotiated in the Sunrise Beach Opportunity Zone is expected to alleviate the acute housing shortage in the Lake area for the middle to low income, often referred to as “workforce housing”. The housing estate is behind the Woods Supermarket on Highway 5. The proposed development would result in approximately 300 units with a few multi-family maisonettes. The previous development attempt on the site had failed due to mismanagement, according to Corbin, and was recently bought by investors who wanted to take advantage of the tax incentives. “Who wouldn’t want the corporate tax rate to drop to zero for 10 years?” Corbin raved. According to Corbin, 10 apartments and part of the infrastructure of the project have already been completed by the original investor.
A new medical marijuana dispensary in the Sunrise Beach Hurricane Deck area has already taken advantage of the Sunrise Beach Opportunity Zone. “You received additional points in the [state’s] Selection process [for dispensary applications] for being in an opportunity zone, ”said Corbin. The pharmacy is expected to open in January 2021. Corbin noted that a second marijuana dispensary / manufacturing facility is also due to open in Sunrise Beach but is not located in the Opportunity Zone.
Moving to the Lake of the Ozarks
According to Corbin, Sunrise Beach’s population increased 55 percent from 2010 to 2020.
“There are many people who move to the lake area from big cities because they want to live in rural areas with less crime and traffic,” suggested Corbin. “Many are retired or about to retire. Covid-19 caused growth at the lake as many had to work from home. Working at the Lake of the Ozarks was more attractive and Sunrise Beach has excellent high-speed internet. They were also drawn to the freedoms we have here with mask mandates that we kept open for business. “
Lake of the Ozarks in the national spotlight
Photos of overcrowded pool bars went viral in the spring of 2020 when the Lake of the Ozarks made national news for its massive influx of vacationers on Memorial Day while most of the nation was closed. From CNN to TMZ to clickbait sites dotted around the internet, the Lake of the Ozarks has been trending and taking the national spotlight, resulting in record-breaking tourism throughout 2020. “We couldn’t get enough supplies to meet demand,” said Bear Bottom Resort owner Matt Sutcliffe. “A lot of my clients said they had never heard of the Lake of the Ozarks before Covid-19.”
Real estate boomed in 2020 – a seller’s market
According to Mark Beeler, real estate agent at Pinnacle Real Estate Partners, this is a sellers’ market and building new homes should be a priority on the Lake of the Ozarks. Beeler announced the figures and found that as of December 2020 there will be 52 active condominiums for sale in the entire lake area, in March 2010 there were 1,326. In October 2020, 123 condominiums were sold on the lake. “That means we have a two-week condominium delivery. If you want a house by the lake, don’t wait too long, ”advised Beeler.
The median list price for a condominium in 2020 is $ 238,000, compared to $ 172,000 a year ago: the median price topped the lake’s $ 200,000 mark for the first time this year. In October 2020, 134 lakeside homes were sold, which means lakeside homes will be offered for six weeks. The average price for a lake house in 2019 was $ 339,000, compared to $ 399,900 today. Combining lake views, lake access, golf course and country houses, there are 264 on the market, of which 127 were sold in 2020. According to Beeler, the lake has an estimated supply of two months. The average price for these homes is $ 185,000 compared to $ 162,450 a year ago.
Housing shortage is serious business
“Rapidly rising prices and the inability to keep up with demand only exacerbate the housing problem for the workforce. I don’t think people understand how serious this is, ”Beeler urged. “We already have a tight labor market and our wages are simply not competitive with the bigger cities. It makes it difficult for us to attract workers. If someone makes $ 12 an hour, they can’t afford to buy a $ 100,000 home, and there is a five percent vacancy rate for Lake apartments. I am concerned that by the beginning of the 2021 season we will not have enough housing for our workers. “
In this case, the sea area appears ripe for development not only of mid-range and luxury waterfront homes, but also affordable off-water housing to meet the growing labor demand. Hence the 300-unit development in Sunrise Beach. Hundreds of wage workers in the Lake region – key players in the region’s service-oriented, tourist-driven economy – could one day soon have a Sunrise Beach address.
- Bedroom: 3
- Bathroom: 3
- Square feet: 1820 ft2
- Bedroom: 3
- Bathroom: 4th
- Square feet: 4100 ft2
KW Four Seasons Realty