A new workforce housing complex has opened near the 76 Strip in Branson, but the complex hopes to do more than just alleviate the pressing need for affordable housing in Branson.
The Penleigh-Branson Row is a new complex of studios and one bedroom apartments located on the site of the former Angel Inn by the Strip. Developer Drever Partners has renovated the majority of the rooms into what they call “condos” with the goal of keeping costs well below market averages so that workers in Branson’s theaters and attractions can live closer to where they work.
“We were first introduced by some former business partners who were doing a similar project down the street,” developer Galen Drever told Branson Tri-Lakes News. “We found this was a great real estate for workforce housing, which is much needed in this area.”
While some developers avoid workforce housing because it doesn’t have the profit margin of other building options, Drever said his company believes in creating affordable housing for those who really need it.
“My dad had been doing this for 50 years and the characteristics of the workforce were the heart of what he did during that time, and now what I do,” Drever said. “It’s important for us to come to a community and leave it better than they found it. So it’s not just about making money, it’s about making a social impact on the communities in which we invest.”
The company offers more on its complexes than more expensive housing options: It provides free after-school tutoring for residents’ children, child care, and in some cases up to 12 months of subsidized rent for working single mothers.
“We have fitness programs for residents,” Drever said. “And for this property, we have 25 local charities partnering with our leadership team to benefit residents.”
Maxwell Drever, President Emeritus of Drever Capital Management, credited Shannon Whitworth with arranging the organizations to “help single mothers, especially working mothers, get ahead of the curve and enrich their lives and the lives of their children.”
Branson told Tri-Leaks News that in all of their 200 apartment openings, they had no more than 50 apartments rented at the time of the ribbon-cutting, but Whitworth and her home team had more than 145 apartments rented by November 11.
Jalen Drever said they will not stop the workforce housing project in Branson.
“We’re buying the Hall of Fame [Motel] Drever said. “We have it under contract and are finalizing the construction details. So this will be the sister property to Penleigh – Branson Row. It will operate independently of that space and will have its own convenient spaces.”
Drever said he believes there will be about 134 apartments when the Hall of Fame Motel redevelopment is completed.
The grand opening of Penleigh – Branson Row on Friday, November 11th saw the presentation of a $5,000 check for Benefit the Badge, along with a ribbon cutting and reception.