News

Shopping center fills old Willmar furniture store

February 6, 2018

Shopping center fills old Willmar furniture store
WILLMAR—The vision Sahra Gure and Abdirizak “Zack” Mahboub had for a former furniture store is taking shape as the newly opened Midtown Plaza in downtown Willmar. The first two businesses have moved into the building at 313 Litchfield Ave. S.W. Several others have signed leases and are preparing to move. The developer of the small shopping center in the former Erickson Furniture building is New Minnesota Realty of Willmar. Gure and Mahboub, a husband and wife team, own New Minnesota

Creating a Model Citizen: New London brewery expansion includes farm-to-table restaurant

January 29, 2018

Creating a Model Citizen: New London brewery expansion includes farm-to-table restaurant
NEW LONDON—There’s more than just beer brewing at the Goat Ridge Brewing Co. in New London. After 2½ years in business—and following an expansion last year—Goat Ridge is adding another 1,600 square feet onto the business. The addition will create space for an expanded taproom, a bigger brewhouse and a bigger dance floor for their frequent live music shows and space for a farm-to-table restaurant. “It’s a nice fit,” said Josh Reed, who owns Goat Ridge with his wife,

Magnum grows as economy does

January 23, 2018

Magnum grows as economy does
WILLMAR—Over the past several years Fargo, North Dakota-based Magnum, which has had a trucking terminal in Willmar for 15 years, has seen a steady uptick in its local business. As the economy has improved, the number of companies needing shipping assistance has grown. Magnum’s business has increased so much that its building needed to grow along with it. “We’ve grown from six routes a day to 13,” said Kerry Kummrow, Willmar terminal manager. “There was a need for more

Willmar council begins discussion on new city hall

January 18, 2018

Willmar council begins discussion on new city hall
WILLMAR—One of the major projects in the 2018 capital budget for the city of Willmar is a new city hall to replace the current building on Sixth Street Southwest. The 2018 capital plan has $8.5 million for a new city hall, though no actual money has been set aside. There has been discussion about bonding or even using city reserves to pay for it. “All of this is very preliminary. We can’t make a decision on this tonight,” said Councilor Ron Christianson during Tuesday’s

Willmar Civic Center ice for three? Refrigeration system with capacity for expansion is recommended

January 10, 2018

Willmar Civic Center ice for three? Refrigeration system with capacity for expansion is recommended
WILLMAR—One of the more pressing projects on Willmar’s to-do list has been the refrigeration system at the Willmar Civic Center. The Willmar City Council approved $2.6 million in the 2018 capital improvement project for a new system to create ice for the two arenas, but no firm decisions have been made on how to fund the project or what kind of system will be installed. “What we need to do tonight is have a discussion on the path we are going to take on the refrigeration project,”

Bonding committee hears ‘the ask’: Willmar area officials request funds for roads, college maintenance projects

January 9, 2018

Bonding committee hears ‘the ask’: Willmar area officials request funds for roads, college maintenance projects
WILLMAR—With millions of state bonding money on the line when the Legislature reconvenes next month, local officials made the case Monday that several area projects should be funded. Members of the Senate Capital Investment Committee began a 12-day tour of the state Monday to hear pitches for projects seeking state funding. During an hour-long stop at Ridgewater College in Willmar, committee members heard about the nuts and bolts of two major road and bridge projects and maintenance projects at

Green Lake jewels to be used in St. Paul ice castle

January 3, 2018

Green Lake jewels to be used in St. Paul ice castle
SPICER—Wearing ice-covered boots and wiping away icicles from beards and noses, a crew of about 40 people were busy Wednesday harvesting massive ice blocks from Green Lake. Prized for the crystal-clear ice that reflects a blue hue as the sun filters through the bitter cold air, the 573-pound blocks of Green Lake ice will be the jewels used to build a 70-foot-tall ice castle in St. Paul for the Winter Carnival. St. Paul’s annual winter celebration will be extended an extra week this year—from

Highlighting Diversity in Kandiyohi County

December 6, 2017

Highlighting Diversity in Kandiyohi County
Willmar is a diverse community with a large Latino and Somali/East African population that is increasingly represented in the business world.  Members of these communities own and operate approximately 12% of businesses in Willmar, as evidenced by a recent Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Survey of diverse businesses undertaken by the EDC. Last fall, the Southwest Initiative Foundation awarded a grant to the EDC to design and implement a BRE program for diverse businesses in the Willmar area.

Kandiyohi County Featured in Business In Focus Magazine

December 6, 2017

Kandiyohi County Featured in Business In Focus Magazine
“A dynamic county with much to offer existing and prospective businesses” is the summary used by contributing writer Gina Stephens to describe the Willmar area in a six-page article featured in the September 2017 publication of Business in Focus magazine. Providing a comprehensive view of North American business, the magazine offers monthly online and print editions that bring together the country’s top businesses and potential clients.   Business in Focus is a national publication with

EDC Hosts Highway 23 Transportation Rally

December 6, 2017

EDC Hosts Highway 23 Transportation Rally
In May of 2017 a group of over 30 interested people, including business and government leaders, met in New London to discuss the need to finish the four-lane gaps on Highway 23, formalize the Highway 23 Coalition and elect officers.  Since that time, the Coalition has incorporated, established a budget and the full membership elected a nine-member Board of Directors.  Currently, there are more than 60 committed members of the Coalition, including 16 units of government, nearly 40 businesses and