Habicht’s Department Store (Willmar)

Originally built for Montgomery Wards in the 1930s, this three-story building in downtown Willmar was home to Habicht’s department store for over forty years. After Habicht’s closed in the 1990s, the building was remodeled into street level offices with two floors of subsistence housing above. The brick structure is sound, but the current owners and tenants seem disinterested in maintaining the historic integrity of the building, and the property is facing  foreclosure. The Willmar Design Center, one of Minnesota’s Main Street organizations, is concerned about the future of this building, which has anchored the downtown business district for so many years. In meetings between the local Economic Development Commission, city officials, and the bank, the Willmar Design Center has urged renovation and new retail use, but no firm plans—or enthusiasm by city leaders—have emerged.

The Willmar Design Center has organized the 4th Street Taskforce to address the buildings future.

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