McMansion Ghost Town: Homes in former billion dollar Missouri resort have been abandoned

When it was launched with great fanfare in 2006, investors were promised that the new $ 1.6 billion Indian Ridge Resort community in the Ozarks area of ​​Missouri would include a shopping mall, a 390-room hotel, and the country’s second largest indoor water park – and dozens of huge castle-like townhouses.

But 15 years later, the 900-acre development near Table Rock Lake, Missouri is largely empty and abandoned McMansions litter the vast site in various states of disrepair.

The project collapsed when the 2008 financial crisis hit; loans were in arrears and construction work was halted.

Original lead developer Jim Shirato was fined for breaking state drinking water laws and five people were convicted and sentenced for their role in a real estate fraud scheme by lying to get loans to buy townhouses, according to local media. KY 3 reported.

The abandoned resort buildings next to Table Rock Lake, east of Branson West, visible from Highway 76, have become a source of curiosity for visitors to the area, which attracts up to 9 million tourists each year .

And now that the onset of the warm season brings an influx of visitors, the unsightly mansions continue their slow decline.

The Indian Ridge Resort community, near Table Rock Lake, Missouri, collapsed after the 2008 financial crisis. A new development on the same site, called The Ridge at Table Rock Lake, is seeking investors

An unfinished condominium at the abandoned Indian Ridge Resort development in Branson West, Missouri.  Development was plagued by problems and abandoned during the Great Recession of 2008

An unfinished condominium at the abandoned Indian Ridge Resort development in Branson West, Missouri. Development was plagued by problems and abandoned during the Great Recession of 2008

The bizarre collection of abandoned condominiums near Table Rock Lake can be seen from Highway 76 in Missouri

The bizarre collection of abandoned condominiums near Table Rock Lake can be seen from Highway 76 in Missouri

Nature began to reclaim abandoned houses, which once featured turrets, huge living spaces and bedrooms

Nature began to reclaim abandoned houses, which once featured turrets, huge living spaces and bedrooms

We are a long way from the moment when the development was unveiled to the public in 2006.

Then former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt “shouted into a megaphone for the excavators to start their engines,” KY3 reported.

The resort was to include a hotel, shops, conference center, water park, local Native American museum, golf course and marina, as well as the large condominiums, which were reserved for vacation homes.

The site was also expected to feature major infrastructure projects in the region, with major upgrades to highways, health care facilities and proposed wastewater treatment facilities.

But in August 2008, with banks on the brink of collapse and the global financial crisis wiping out lines of credit, federal regulators halted the project, the Branson Tri-Lakes News reported.

It would later appear that five people were involved in a real estate fraud to obtain loans to buy properties in the complex.

In 2017, David Drake, 67, and Donald Snider, 57, both of Colorado, were sentenced to five years in prison for lying in order to obtain loans to buy townhouses on the site and sell them. as vacation homes.

The two men were business partners with Western Site Services, which set out to develop the Indian Ridge complex.

They admitted one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and another of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

With their windows smashed and doors smashed, the McMansions at the bankrupt Indian Ridge Resort have become an eyesore

With their windows smashed and doors smashed, the McMansions at the bankrupt Indian Ridge Resort have become an eyesore

The castle-like structures were meant to become upscale vacation homes, nestled in the middle of a huge resort with a golden course, marina, and indoor water park

The castle-like structures were meant to become upscale vacation homes, nestled in the middle of a huge resort with a golden course, marina, and indoor water park

But the developers went bankrupt in 2008, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Company stepped in to buy the site in 2012 for just $ 3.1 million.

But the developers went bankrupt in 2008, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Company stepped in to buy the site in 2012 for just $ 3.1 million.

A real estate fraud scheme in which several investors lied to obtain loans to buy houses on the site was one of the many problems that hampered the project

A real estate fraud scheme in which several investors lied to obtain loans to buy houses on the site was one of the many problems that hampered the project

Current site owners hope to find investors for further development on the site.

Current site owners hope to find investors for further development on the site.

New developers took over the project and in 2018 unveiled plans for a different development at the same site called The Ridge at Table Rock Lake.

New developers took over the project and in 2018 unveiled plans for a different development at the same site called The Ridge at Table Rock Lake.

Snider’s wife Heather Gibbs, 54, and Drake’s wife Vickie Hall were each sentenced to three years probation for their role in the scheme. A fifth person, James Clarkson, 45, of Arizona, was sentenced last August to 24 months in prison.

This was not the only legal problem the project fell into.

The developers were later found guilty of violating federal and state drinking water laws after excavated soil was dumped into Table Rock Lake, and Jim Shirato was ordered to pay a fine of $ 125,000. .

The U.S. Attorney General for the Western Missouri District said in a statement that Indian Ridge Resort and North Shore Investments’ failure to reduce, control or slow erosion at the construction site persisted until at least the end of August. 2011.

In 2012, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company stepped in to buy the development for just $ 3.1 million. New developers bought the property three years later.

In 2018, they inaugurated the new development called The Ridge at Table Rock Lake.

Still high profile, he hopes investors won’t be deterred by the development’s turbulent history.

“With 9 million visitors per year to the area, this property is ideally located to benefit from the large local, regional and national market that plays, works and lives in Branson, Missouri,” the developers say in their online marketing materials.

The Ozarks are a vast mountainous region that covers much of the states of Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

About Stephen Arrington

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