Craig could see Sam Goody store in Centennial Mall

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Management at Craig's Centennial Mall is pursuing a deal that could attract a national home entertainment/electronics chain.

But hurdles, including a long-term contractual commitment keeping Musicland-Sam Goody in Craig and remodeling costs remain key hurdles to striking an agreement, according to Vicki Hall, manager and leasing agent with Colorado & Santa Fe Real Estate.

Hall, whose company operates Centennial Mall, said she expects word on Musicland-Sam Goody's possible relocation to Craig within a month.

"We realize what a draw that would be for the mall and the community," she said.

Negotiations that had been advanced were set back with the recent departure of a key contact employee with the company, Hall said.

Musicland Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Best Buy Co., Inc., operates more than 1,300 stores nationwide selling home entertainment products under the names Sam Goody, Suncoast Motion Picture and Media Play. Some 31 stores currently operate under one of these names in Colorado.

"It has got to be a win-win both ways," Hall said of the ongoing negotiations.

The sides aren't there yet.

To date, the company has been willing to commit to a three-year lease at Centennial Mall. Hall said management is pushing for a longer commitment possibly between five and 10 years, given a healthy portion of the $250,000 to $300,000 in improvement costs Musicland-Sam Goody has asked Centennial to put forth.

"Over three years the cash flow just isn't there for the landlord," said Hall, adding that management might negotiate rent breaks for the company taking on a larger share of the requested improvements.

The 4,500 square-foot unit now occupied by Furniture Connection would be split, with the existing store fronting the mall's parking lot. Misty Peterson, a co-owner of Stage, acknowledged the possibilities surrounding the Musicland-Sam Goody outlet.

If signed to a lease, the new store would take up the northern half of the unit, with access from both inside the mall and from Stage, according to Hall.

Representatives of Musicland Sam Goody and Best Buy Inc. could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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