- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The Williams County Commission has narrowly approved a proposed $500 million development on the outskirts of Williston, after debate about the chosen location.

The Williston Crossing project proposed by the international real estate company Stropiq is to include more than 1 million square feet of retail, entertainment, office and hotel space just north of the oil patch hub.

The commission this week voted 3-2 to approve the project, with the no votes coming from commissioners who think the proposed location is flawed, the Williston Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1CYfrM8 ).

“We’re the ones who will have to deal with this if it fails,” Commissioner Martin Hanson said. “It’s a pie in the sky. And I don’t think it’s nearly as visionary as it is delusional.”

Williston Mayor Howard Klug said there are hundreds of shovel-ready areas within city limits where Swiss-based Stropiq could build its development.

“I want (Stropiq co-founder Terry Olin) to put his money in the right spot in the community, in places that are already ready to go,” Klug said.

Olin said the location was picked by experts to give the development the best chance of success, and that Williston Crossing will make the region a “cooler place to live.”

“You have all heard it before - ‘I could not get my family to live here because it’s missing something,’” he said. “You know what that something is? It’s retail and entertainment.”

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Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com

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