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Reese Development: Shaping The Future for the City of Lake Ozark & The Bagnell Dam Strip

Opinion Piece by William Holtz, Lake TV / Thursday, April 4th 2024 

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Meaghan & Nick
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Sister Stefany Reese Toomer
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Working with Lake TV has afforded me the opportunity to meet and interact with many business owners, developers, and big business. Some I’ve liked, some I’ve not liked as much, and some have left me feeling indifferent. It’s always refreshing to meet business owners with great ideas & drive who are also down to earth. I spoke with Nick Reese, Al Pscholka, & Arthur Havlicek from Reese Development on Tuesday, April 2nd regarding their plans following the demolition of some of the blighted, but nevertheless iconic Bagnell Dam Strip Properties. Reese Development has already started demolition using their own funds and, with the help of the City of Lake Ozark, have applied for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for additional demolition. As for the CDBG grant, I thought that was important to break down as far as I could understand it:

 

 

 

Read More About Community Development Block Grant: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/cdbg/

 

What's Next & Will It Be Family Friendly?

 

Through our conversations, I learned that Nick Reese's vision is LARGE. He mentioned that there could be many phases and variables to their plans for redevelopment that could include things like housing options, multi- generational amenities like dining & entertainment, and working with the city to improve things like roads & infrastructure. Although an immediate answer to what, when, and where was not given, all three I spoke with on the call (Reese, Pscholka, & Havlicek) agreed on these things:

 

·       The "Family Friendly" aspect is certainly understood & being considered.

·       Honoring the nostalgia of the storied history of the Bagnell Dam Strip is paramount.

·       They are listening and appreciate the recent feedback and suggestions from the lake locals

 

Honestly, I found them to all be very sincere and share a common interest in long term improvement for the entire City of Lake Ozark and the region. They seemed intrigued by what the locals have to say and not motivated purely by profit. I also get a sense that this is not something that will be an "Opening in Summer of 2024" type project. Rather, it will be a legacy type of redevelopment for our community & the Reese Development team.

 

 

Reese, who has come to the Lake his entire life, shares the same memories of visiting the Bagnell Dam Strip as a kid that many of us do. In our meeting, he stressed the importance of revitalizing the community and mentioned things like cleaning up, beautifying, and adding to the visual appeal of the historic Bagnell Dam Strip. I also learned that Nick and his wife are renovating their own home on the Strip, and they are expecting their first child in July. This means calls for “family friendly” amenities, beautification efforts, and increased safety are not just of professional importance to him, but of personal importance as well.

 

 

 

To that end, Reese Development’s recent “Revitalization Initiative” has focused on making improvements in those areas and more, including:

   

1. Reese Development Contracts Local Artist for Mural on Strip:

Lake Expo: https://www.lakeexpo.com/real_estate/local-artist-paints-the-lake-heres-whos-behind-that-mural-on-the-strip/article_2e5bf650-105c-11ee-804b-a33a2257a532.html

Lake TV REEL: https://www.facebook.com/reel/217180427455408

 

2. Donation of Arms & Ammunition to LOPD (Springfield Armory)

Lake Expo: 

https://www.lakeexpo.com/community/community_news/new-guns-donated-to-lake-ozark-cops-thanks-to-springfield-armory-reese-development/article_27b69bb8-e223-11ee-9bae-0f8ade9a3eaa.html

Lake TV Coverage: 

https://www.facebook.com/williamholtztv/posts/pfbid05N3eBod9ZbCQ2xLZ7vbREqhLZ76nLstApjf6UvuGE8iTSmxkTX5oGLWYeF1ZvJyVl

 

3. Recent White House revitalization with Stewart’s was financed also by Reese Development

[coverage] https://www.lakenewsonline.com/stories/iconic-white-house-in-lake-ozark-transformed-into-stewarts-restaurant,64724

 

4. Demolition of derelict structures (Two Bit Town, Haunted Hotel rubble, sky ferry foundations at the parking lot)

 

 

[coverage] https://www.lakeexpo.com/real_estate/two-bit-town-to-be-demolished-as-work-begins-to-revitalize-the-bagnell-dam-strip/article_126f99e0-e632-11ee-bc25-cb3fca2ecc9e.html

 

As well as upcoming projects like:

·       Parking lot next to the dam opening this summer. Anticipating 100+ parking spaces

·       Shoreland Motel neon sign restoration with Mid-State Sign Co

·       Dumpster clean-up. Covering or changing locations for existing dumpsters under their control

·       “Boat Rides” Observation Tower restoration

·       Saving nostalgia from Two-Bit Town (archways, cabins, signs, statues, “artifacts”)

 

 

 

I reached out to the City of Lake Ozark Mayor Dennis Newberry to see what his thoughts are in regards to Reese Development and the revitalization efforts already underway. I made multiple efforts to get comments from Newberry but didn’t hear back at time of publication. Although, I would imagine Mayor Newberry is thrilled with the continued investment into the City of Lake Ozark.

 

While no specific plans were released, I like that the efforts are comprehensive in nature and will have community input. I believe this will be a long, expensive undertaking and that family friendly amenities and more are certainly on the table. I also believe Reese Development is going to do some amazing things for not only the historic Bagnell Dam Strip, but the entire City of Lake Ozark moving forward. I will be excited to cover and eager to update everyone as things progress.

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