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The terminal building at Sloulin Field International Airport, Williston, North Dakota, seen in August 2012. (Image: RFBailey via Wikimedia Commons)

Williston approves developer to head airport project

This week the Williston City Commission gave unanimous approval for Phoenix-based Cardon Development Group to repurpose the current site of the Sloulin Field International Airport after its relocation.

Williston Mayor Howard Klug said, “This is a big decision, probably the largest public-private project the city has ever done,” The Williston Herald reports. The firm is one of the five development firms that were being considered over the past six months to head the project. Currently, a contract has not been signed. City officials plan to meet with Cardon to sort out a development management agreement which will establish expectations and roles, a process which could take several months.

As reported by Jerry Burnes, Executive Director of Williston Economic Development Shawn Wenko stated that Cardon was selected to lead the project for its previous work on affordable housing projects. The firm was also chosen because of its diversification, such as working with the area’s growing technology sector, which is proving crucial to the region’s oil and gas development.

In a recent press release, the firm’s CEO Don Cardon said, “Williston and North Dakota represent a large-scale internationally recognized public enterprise. We look forward to partnering with them to enable new developments in the center of the city.” The company, in cooperation with city planners, will be heading the development of the 800-acre site. Other development firms will be working with Cardon, including the contracting firm Vedadi Corp and the roofing company Red Bison. Patrick Murphy, owner of Williston’s Murphy Motors, will also be involved in the project.

As reported by the Herald, the airport’s manager, Steven Kjergaard, recommended that Williston officials streamline the process by planning to buy the land outright. This would give the Federal Aviation Administration a more definitive idea of how to proceed, allowing the city to move forward with its goals instead of having the FAA determine how the land is used. Kjergaard told the Herald, “If we go in the other direction, it changes how you can do affordable housing, low-income housing. It changes how you can do the whole property.” Klug reported that the city will be working with Cardon on a development agreement and will settle a land purchase intent later. To read the original article, click here.

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