Murdoch’s signs lease for ALCO space in Fraser
Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply has signed a lease to occupy the vacant space in the former ALCO shopping center, the center’s owner said.
ALCO vacated the space in February after its parent company, ALCO Stores Inc., filed for bankruptcy in October 2014.
Murdoch’s has been in negotiations with the complex’s owner, Western Centers Inc., since November 2014, said Craig Clark.
Clark’s company, Fraser Valley Center LLC, has the center under contract and plans to close in October 2015.
“As a representative for Western Centers and future owner of the center, we couldn’t be more excited,” Clark said. “I think it’s great for the community and great for the valley.”
Murdoch’s still must secure the Town of Fraser’s approval for its outdoor storage space, Clark said. The matter will go before the town planning committee in either May or June.
Murdoch’s will begin renovating the space either on June 1 or when the town approves it’s outdoor space, Clark said.
The store hopes to have its doors open in late 2015 or early 2016, Clark said.
Four other big box retailers were also interested in the space, Clark said.
The center’s owners felt that Murdoch’s was the best fit for the community, he said.
“Murdoch’s will be an amazing partner as far as community outreach,” Clark added.
Two businesses, Carquest and Michael’s Video and Audio, will be leaving the center to make room for the new tenant.
“Basically, our lease was up and due to Murdoch’s moving in, they would not renew our lease,” said John DeCicco, owner of Carquest’s Grand County locations. “We regretted having to close, but there were no other buildings in that complex or the Winter Park-Fraser area to suit us.”
Michael Schurer of Michael’s Audio and Video said he was in negotiations to relocate to a space in Kings Crossing Center in Winter Park.
Schurer said he had to vacate the Fraser space by June 1, while Carquest’s last day of business was Saturday, May 2.
DeCicco said that currently he doesn’t have plans to open another store in the Fraser Valley but is exploring other areas.
“We are absolutely looking for a new location in Grand County,” DeCicco said. “We’re thinking we may do something over near Kremmling.”
Both Schurer and DeCicco said they learned their leases wouldn’t be renewed in the last two weeks.
DeCicco said that, to compensate for the Fraser closure, Carquest has added an additional storage warehouse in Granby, as well as increasing its hours at the Granby location.
He added that he didn’t believe the closure would affect Carquest’s service.
“Quite honestly, the Granby location serviced (the Winter Park-Fraser) market for 40 years and serviced it well,” DeCicco said.
Carquest also does countywide deliveries on demand.
Schurer said he wasn’t sure how the move would affect his business.
Though the Winter Park location is highly visible, Schurer said he was concerned about stricter sign codes in Winter Park, adding that in Fraser he had a “little more leeway” for signage.
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When the Braidwood Condominiums in Winter Park were built in the 1980s, the building lacked hallways wide enough for wheelchairs, walls between units were slim and the fire suppression system couldn’t compare to modern requirements.