economic development

Willmar Planning Commission approves land sale that could make Block 25 location for new apartment complex

April 22, 2021

Willmar Planning Commission approves land sale that could make Block 25 location for new apartment complex
WILLMAR — The value of four Willmar-owned lots in downtown was debated Wednesday night by members of the Willmar Planning Commission. The question was whether the lots located on Block 25, currently being used as a public parking lot, were more valuable to the city as a parking lot or as the future home of a new apartment building. At the end of the debate, which raised several questions and differences of opinion on the issue, the commission approved the sale to Lumber One Development Company

Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission hires Willmar city planner for business development post

April 9, 2021

Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission hires Willmar city planner for business development post
WILLMAR—The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission has found its next business development manager and didn’t have to look far to find her. Current Willmar City Planner Sarah Swedburg has accepted the position and plans to start around May 6. She is replacing Connie Schmoll, who is retiring at the end of May. Schmoll has worked for the EDC for just over seven years. Lately she has been focusing on expanding broadband through the county, business development

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission hints at major developments that could be on the way to Willmar

April 9, 2021

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission hints at major developments that could be on the way to Willmar
WILLMAR—While specifics were slim, Aaron Backman, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission executive director, gave some intriguing hints Thursday about possible major economic development projects that could be headed to Willmar. The biggest is a large distribution center project for an undisclosed end user. Back in 2018-2019, a logistics company came close to building a project in Willmar, but it was canceled in early 2019. “This one is bigger and better,”

County gets up to speed on broadband

April 7, 2021

County gets up to speed on broadband
WILLMAR—Expanding high-speed broadband to all corners of Kandiyohi County has been a dream and challenge for many for more than two decades. “This is an ongoing issue. It is a task we are constantly struggling to fix,” said Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl, during a work session of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. The meeting Tuesday was specifically about broadband issues in the county. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus

Mill Pond Mercantile building in New London gets new owner, new purpose and new name

April 2, 2021

Mill Pond Mercantile building in New London gets new owner, new purpose and new name
NEW LONDON—The Mill Pond Mercantile building in downtown New London has new owners. The Goose Group, which currently owns three businesses in Perham, will be opening Lucky Duck in New London. Featuring a unique line of toys, games, puzzles and old-fashioned treats, the retail store is tentatively scheduled to open in mid-May. “Our goal is to make people happy,” said Doug Huebsch, owner and CEO. “We want everyone to leave the store with a big smile on their face.” Laura Bjerke, vice president

Renaissance Zone could bring about a rebirth of downtown Willmar

December 22, 2020

Renaissance Zone could bring about a rebirth of downtown Willmar
WILLMAR—When downtown and a portion of the U.S. Highway 12 commercial corridor were chosen as Willmar’s lone federal Opportunity Zone, David Ramstad and his staff at city Planning and Development definitely saw an opportunity. While the Opportunity Zone as a tool is geared more toward developers with deep pockets and capital gains, Ramstad wanted Willmar’s zone to become a rebirth for the poorest area of town. Out of those dreams came the Willmar Renaissance Zone and a list of

Willmar creates a Renaissance Zone

October 5, 2020

Willmar creates a Renaissance Zone
The City of Willmar is interested in creating the conditions for a strong and vibrant downtown area. To that end on May 4, 2020 the Willmar City Council adopted the Renaissance Zone, which is a new zoning overlay district encompassing the Central Business District and adjacent areas. The new Willmar Renaissance Zone  is a 5-year pilot program intended to encourage investment, job creation, development, creativity and vibrancy in the designated area. This district will offer greater flexibility relative

More than $2 million in COVID-19 relief awarded to businesses and nonprofits in Kandiyohi County

September 12, 2020

More than $2 million in COVID-19 relief awarded to businesses and nonprofits in Kandiyohi County
WILLMAR—When you add up all the money that has so far been awarded to small businesses and nonprofits through coronavirus relief programs run by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, the total is more than $2 million. Since March the EDC has established a handful of grant or loan programs focused on providing financial relief to businesses in the county hit hard by economic impacts tied to the virus outbreak. The programs include the CARES Pandemic Relief Program,

Pandemic relief grants are actively helping Kandiyohi County businesses

August 28, 2020

Pandemic relief grants are actively helping Kandiyohi County businesses
WILLMAR—Kandiyohi County businesses and nonprofits are benefiting from the CARES Pandemic Relief Grant Program administered by the Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission. According to a news release from the EDC, a variety of businesses and nonprofits have applied and received more than $700,000 in grants. The businesses that have received the funds average 7.5 years in business with 167 full-time equivalent jobs. Read the full article at the West Central Tribune.

Willmar company could be game-changer in digital manufacturing

August 19, 2020

Willmar company could be game-changer in digital manufacturing
WILLMAR—Grabbing onto business opportunities that blend innovative engineering skills and rapidly advancing 3D printing technology, three brothers are expanding their role in digital manufacturing that could be a game-changer for all manufacturers—and a benefit to consumers. During a media tour Tuesday that included a live, virtual broadcast, Carl, Brian and Sean Douglass talked about their expanding business, DI Labs, at their new location in Willmar. DI Labs was started in 2013 in Spicer. As