BRANSON, Mo. -- Branson City leaders say through the first six months of 2014, more construction permits have been filled with the city than during all of 2013.
""I think its a sign that maybe the economy is getting better," says Branson Planning and Development Director Joel Hornickel. "We'd like to think there's a little bit more attention to our community because of the efforts of the Highway 76 projects and the downtown project."
Hornickel says while the pedestrian friendly projects are still in the works, other projects are already taking shape like the "Pasghettis" restaurant.
"Creating a very pedestrian friendly environment out front, with a large meatball and fork with spaghetti and noodles," says Hornickel.
Back up 76, a $3-million expansion and parking addition, is taking place at the Tanger Outlet Mall.
"We're in the middle of doing several things at one time," says Tanger Outlets, General Manager, Jamie Whiteis. "The goal is to have everything ready for the holiday season."
Whiteis says Talbots - a women’s clothing store - is the only new tenant name he can release so far, but he says another five or six new stores will soon be going in beside it.
"Definitely some movement going on," Whiteis said when asked about other construction around Branson, "Several announcements, the Ball Parks of America with that big project."
City leaders say the new development is especially good for Branson because it’s not just tourism driven businesses coming in.
"It’s not just one segment," says Joel Hornickel. "It's a very good mix of development."
Branson’s Planning and Development Director says new gas stations will also be coming to the area, like the new Casey’s on Highway 76.
"We're actually looking at a request for another Casey's on the north side of town, on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway," he says.
Hornickel says he is also encouraged by the potential for even more development this year.
"Especially because we still have things in the till... like Buffalo Wild Wings and obviously the Ball Park group, if that comes to fruition by the end of the year, so there's some very exciting things."
New development is also expected to take place in other parts of Taney County. Hollister announced recently that Menards, a home improvement store, is expected to open in 2016.
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