economic development

Willmar sells land for package sorting, distribution facility

November 15, 2018

Willmar sells land for package sorting, distribution facility
WILLMAR—A purchase agreement for 14.46 acres of land in the Willmar Industrial Park has been signed between the city of Willmar and JDC Property Group LLC. JDC is purchasing the land and constructing a package sorting and distribution facility for logistics company that so far has not been named publicly. The sale price for the land was $650,000. The site is located between Trott Avenue and Willmar Avenue Southwest on the west side of Kandiyohi County Road 5. “This is a nice project, we are

Ridgewater brings $170 million to area’s economy, study says

November 14, 2018

Ridgewater brings $170 million to area’s economy, study says
WILLMAR—Ridgewater College contributes more than $170 million to the region’s economy, according to a study by the Minnesota State system of public colleges and universities. The study indicates the college also contributes 1,456 jobs to the area, according to a news release from Ridgewater. “At Ridgewater College, our top priority is the success of our students and alumni, but our college also plays a vital role in both the state and regional economies,” Craig Johnson, president

RockStep continues to envision a successful future for Kandi Mall

November 9, 2018

RockStep continues to envision a successful future for Kandi Mall
WILLMAR—While he wasn’t able to give any specifics about possible new stores opening up in Willmar’s Kandi Mall, Andy Weiner, president of RockStep Capital, the owner of the shopping center, did say there has been movement. This is especially true for the empty Kmart portion of the mall, which has stood vacant since 2012. “We have some major national tenants for the Kmart,” Weiner said. “One which could open next year.” What Weiner would say of the two retailers

2018 FAM Tour by Connie Schmoll

October 16, 2018

Designed to bring familiarization of Minnesota and communities across the state, including Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar, to site selectors nationwide, the 2018 Minnesota Site Selectors FAM Tour may have been the most effective tour in the four years I have been a part of this organization. Past FAM Tours In 2015, the FAM Tour included one site selector, Linda Burns, coming to Willmar for one day to tour the area and visit with business leaders. During the other three days that Ms. Burns

Developer proposes $28M housing project in NW Willmar

October 1, 2018

Developer proposes $28M housing project in NW Willmar
WILLMAR— The Willmar City Council heard Monday from a developer hoping to build a $28 million housing project on the northwest side of the city. “It is a pleasure to have a project come before the council,” Mayor Marv Calvin said during the council work session. “Businesses tell me on a regular basis they can’t expand because there isn’t enough housing.” Samuel Herzog, of JH LLC, is requesting tax increment financing assistance for a multi-family housing development

15th Street Flats expected to break ground next month

August 24, 2018

15th Street Flats expected to break ground next month
WILLMAR—The way is clear for Commonwealth Development to break ground 15th Street Flats, the new multi-unit housing project which will offer 47 apartments for a wide range of Willmar renters. The Willmar City Council this week approved the tax increment financing development agreement between the city and developer, the last step before construction. “They hope to break ground next month,” said Bruce Peterson, Willmar Planning and Development Services director, speaking at Monday’s

Lack of child care a barrier to economic development

August 21, 2018

Lack of child care a barrier to economic development
WILLMAR—Not having enough safe, affordable and accessible child care facilities is being tagged as a growing barrier to economic development in west central Minnesota, including Kandiyohi County where it’s estimated another 776 child care slots are currently needed. Businesses that struggle to find workers because potential employees are unable to find child care—and child care providers who struggle to stay in business because of regulations and employee pay—are major components of a growing

Greater Minnesota cities struggle to sustain their oldest homes—but loans and education are helping

August 20, 2018

Greater Minnesota cities struggle to sustain their oldest homes—but loans and education are helping
On a hot August morning, in one of Willmar’s oldest neighborhoods, stucco bungalows, ramblers and an American Foursquare here and there stand under the shade of massive trees, set close together, bordered by sidewalks. It’s a charming scene, at first glance, yet many of these homes clearly need repair. “It’s the oldest housing stock in town,” said Jill Bengtson, the executive director of the Kandiyohi County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Many of the homes are owned by low-income

Major Willmar Industrial Park development proposed, possible package sorting and distribution center

August 20, 2018

Major Willmar Industrial Park development proposed, possible package sorting and distribution center
WILLMAR—A yet-to-be named business is interested in constructing a package sorting and distribution center in the Willmar Industrial Park, a business which could bring dozens of new jobs. “They haven’t released the name, but you have heard of it. It is not going to be a secret; they are a big player,” said Bruce Peterson, Willmar Planning and Development Services director, addressing Monday’s meeting of the Willmar City Council. “They will be running loads of product

That #KanDo Mentality That Can Only Mean Success

August 14, 2018

That #KanDo Mentality That Can Only Mean Success
For almost 15 years, the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) has been working hard to serve as a catalyst for economic growth in its region.  In 2017, Business in Focus took a closer look at this dynamic organization and all of the great initiatives the EDC was working on in partnership with other sectors to make the City and County a vibrant and attractive place to live and do business.  Read the entire article on the EDC and Kandiyohi County featured in