The Penleigh Branson Row.jpg

The Penleigh - Branson Row held their grand opening on Friday, Nov. 11.

A new workforce housing complex has opened near the 76 Strip in Branson, but the complex is hoping to do more than just ease the significant need for affordable housing in Branson.

The Penleigh-Branson Row is a new complex of studio and one-bedroom apartments located in the former Angel Inn by the Strip location. The development company, Drever Partners, renovated the majority of the rooms into what they call “micro-apartments” with an aim to keep the costs significantly below market averages so workers at Branson theaters and attractions will be able to live near where they work.

“We first were introduced through 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 property to do workforce housing, which is so desperately needed in this area.”

While some developers avoid workforce housing because it doesn’t have the profit margin of other construction options, Drever said his company believes in creating affordable housing for those who really need it.

“My dad’s been doing this for 50 years and workforce properties were the heart of what he did during that time, and now what I’m doing,” Drever said. “It’s important to us to come into a community and leave them better than we found them. So it’s not just about making money, it’s about making a social impact on the communities we invest in.”

The company provides more at their complexes than most affordable housing options: they provide free after-school tutoring for resident’s children, childcare, and in some cases up to 12 months of subsidized rent for working single-mothers. 

“We’ve had fitness programs for residents,” Drever said. “And for this property, we have 25 local charities who have partnered with our leadership team to benefit the residents.”

Maxwell Drever, Chairman Emeritus of Drever Capital Management, credited Shannon Whitworth for lining up the organizations “to help especially single, working, mothers, get ahead of the curve and enrich their and their children’s lives.”

He told Branson Tri-Lakes News in all the openings of their 200 apartment developments, they had not had more than around 50 apartments rented at the time of their ribbon cutting, but Whitworth and her local team had more than 145 of the apartments rented in the first month.

Galen Drever said they’re not going to stop with one workforce housing project in Branson.

“We are purchasing the Hall of Fame [Motel] next door,” Drever said. “We have that under contract and we’re finalizing the construction details. So that will be the sister property to the Penleigh - Branson Row. It will operate independently from this space and will have its own amenity spaces.”

Drever said he thought there would be about 134 apartments when the redevelopment of the Hall of Fame Motel is finished.

The grand opening ceremony of the Penleigh - Branson Row on Friday, Nov. 11, featured a $5,000 check being given to Benefit the Badge, along with a ribbon cutting and reception.

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