WAITE PARK -- For as busy as 2015 was for Waite Park, 2016 has just as much in store.

Planning and Community Development Director Jon Noerenberg says they are excited for the many projects expecting to finish and get started this year.

"We're really excited about it, we have a couple of more projects "on the hook" for this coming year," says Noerenberg.

The city is in the process of opening three retail stores later this year, which include Dick's Sporting Goods and Fresh Thyme in the old Kmart lot.

"Dick's Sporting Goods is off and running with the interior build out there and the Fresh Thyme package should be in any day and as of right now their official word is to still be open by October," says Noerenberg.

Hobby Lobby is also under construction next to Texas Roadhouse, however Noerenberg says their is no official timeline as to when they will open.

"I've not heard a formal projected opening date yet, or if they are ahead or behind schedule at this time but everything seems to be continuing as hoped there," says Noerenberg.

Waite Park is also in the process of constructing four hotels within the year. However the Staybridge construction behind Menards has been off to a slow start.

"They went back to the drawing board a little bit, but the last I heard they were planning to submit construction plans in Spring," says Noerenberg.

As for the Silver Leaf project proposed on the mobile home site, Noerenberg says the developers are still figuring out all the details.

"They are still in the process of not only getting their financing together, and they are still working with their consultant in the relocation of the residents in the area," says Noerenberg.

Noerenberg says there are plenty more projects in store for the year (amphitheater, city rebranding) and lots of chances for the community to get involved.


(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)