BY: GEOFF PICKLE, WEB PRODUCER firstname.lastname@example.org
Developer Repvblik LLC plans to convert a former Days Inn property in Branson into workforce housing for migrant workers.
Richard Rubin, the company’s Los Angeles-based CEO, said Repvblik — pronounced Republic — expects to close on the purchase of the 443-room hotel within a couple weeks for undisclosed terms from owner Lemonade Hospitality LLC. He was unsure how long the property has been vacant.
The operators are renaming the property Plato’s Cave. It’s located at 3524 Keeter St. in Branson, near White Water.
“In our discussions with the Taney County Partnership, there seems to be a massive shortage of housing for the migrant workers,” Rubin said. “We’re engaging the corporate employers in and around Branson, as well as the visa partners.”
Rubin said Repvblik — which owns and manages more than 3,000 units for affordable housing and workforce residents — plans to have Phase I of Plato’s Cave ready in May for Branson’s tourism season. Branson-based Treat Architects PC is designing the phase comprising 223 rooms, and a general contractor has not yet been selected. Rubin declined to disclose the company’s planned investment in the housing project.
At Plato’s Cave, Rubin said the focus would be on housing for temporary workers from Puerto Rico, as well as the J-1 and H-2B visa programs. He said Repvblik is targeting employers in the Branson hospitality industry who bring workers to Branson. The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Taney County Partnership announced late last year they were extending recruitment efforts for Puerto Rico workers into 2018.
Repvblik plans to have the full redevelopment project complete by second-quarter 2019. Rubin said market demand would determine the final room count, but plans call for the ability to house at least 900 workers.