PRO 1 Realty announces Erickson's building sale
WILLMAR -- The sale of the longtime Erickson's Furniture building along Litchfield Avenue was announced today by PRO 1 Realty. The furniture store that was once a staple of downtown Willmar closed its doors in 2005 after 70 years of operation. Si...
WILLMAR -- The sale of the longtime Erickson's Furniture building along Litchfield Avenue was announced today by PRO 1 Realty.
The furniture store that was once a staple of downtown Willmar closed its doors in 2005 after 70 years of operation. Since then the building has sat empty.
Thomas Lindemann, owner of PRO 1, announced the sale of the building to another Willmar business, Universal Microelectrics Co. U.S.A., Inc.
Universal Microelectrics Co. is a Taiwanese-based company that specializes in magnetic components, power supplies and telecommunication products. The company's United States headquarters is located at 410 Becker Ave S.W.
It is unclear at this point what Universal Microelectrics will use the building for.
Erickson's Furniture was a downtown fixture since 1934. The company was started by brothers, Oscar, Loren and Vernon Erickson. The Ericksons owned and ran the business for more than 50 years.
Bruce and Linda Hanson purchased the business in 1984 with Lyle and Ann Tiegs. After Lyle Tiegs died in 2004, the Hansons took full ownership.
"It's kind of sad to see it go," Bruce Hanson said Tuesday night.
The city of Willmar considered buying the property to build a 64-space parking lot. The idea was tabled in July of 2005 because the building was being considered as a site for the proposed multicultural market.
The market proposal would create a place to buy and sell ethnic food and merchandise ranging from clothing to music. It also would provide an opportunity for Willmar's minorities to start their own business.
As recently as a year ago, organizers of the multicultural market still called the building the preferred site, though no purchase agreement was in place at that time. Organizers of the market estimated it would cost at least $1 million to buy and renovate the building and get the project launched, according to Tribune archives.
"Things didn't materialize the way we had hoped," Bruce Hanson said.
The purchase of the building by Universal Microelectrics puts an end to any future hopes for a multicultural market at that location. Bruce Hanson said it was his understanding that Universal Microelectrics would be moving its operation to the Litchfield Avenue building.