Retail Rumors | VideoEvan Kruegel | 7/20/2012
"I think you`re already going to see some of it happening. This fall you`re going to hear about a few stores. Next year should be a pretty good year, and I think by the following year it should be a pretty good pace," said Director of Economic Development Tom Rolfstad.
The housing crisis is the main cause for the lack of growth. Companies are wary to set up in a place where they can`t house employees.
"One of the biggest concerns for the retail community, and for restaurants more so, is that some of these restaurant chains can have 60, 80 or 100 employees, and so their big question is `Where am I going to house my employees? I can`t afford to pay the kind of money the oil industry pays.` And so housing, to a degree, is holding us up from getting the retail in place," Rolfstad said.
Even with the struggles, there are some restaurants on the way. Russon`s Deli just opened on Broadway, a new steak and seafood restaurant will open at the Elks Club within 30 days and two more downtown restaurants could join them before winter.
"It`s going to be crawling before you walk, and once you start walking we`ll probably be striding, so we have to be a little patient but at the same time I`m very confident that it`s on its way," said Rolfstad.
As for Menards and other big box chain stores? Donít expect to see them any time soon. According to Economic Development, stores of that size will continue to avoid Williston until the housing crisis can be solved.