New retail stores, along with a multiplex theater and proposed restaurants are coming to Wiliston. The Sand Creek retail center broke ground on Thursday, with Gov. Jack Dalrymple as an honored guest.

The construction project will house a 14-screen theater along with major retail chains on the west side of of the city is under way. However, Menards, once thought to be a major player in the project has yet to commit to Williston for a future home. City officials announced last year that Menards would be the first of the big box stores to be located in the shopping center — a claim Menards has never verified.

A Menards spokesperson emailed the Williston Herald this morning that the store has “nothing to report at this time.”

With or without Menards, the project promises to bring in a more retail options to people of not only Williston, but the region. The nearest shopping center of similar size is in Minot, about 120 miles away.

Granite Peak Development, the Wyoming-based developer of Sand Creek, said talks are still ongoing with Menards.

The construction of a new shopping outlet is a major component of Williston’s growth, city officials said.

“We have a need. Way before the boom hit we were short of restaurants and retail and a lot of people were saying we need more,” Williston Mayor Ward Koeser. said. “Now we are getting the people’s attention. I think this development will help to show (other developers), that yeah this is a place where a restaurant or store (can be located). We hope this is one of the big pieces to the puzzle.”