Former Toys R Us: Perfect for Sears?

A prime piece of Fort Collins real estate could serve as an excellent place for Sears to relocate, in the event that the retailer moves out of the Foothills mall.

We’re talking about the building that formerly housed Toys R Us, located on Bockman Drive just east of College Avenue in Fort Collins, which is under a covenant that restricts it to retail uses only. The 45,500-square-foot building was once under consideration for the expansion of Windsor’s Ice Energy, but the property would have had to be converted to light-industrial use.

Sears, as a retailer, would be a good fit as far as the covenant is concerned, and Sears and JC Penney, which is next door, are used to being neighbors. After all, JC Penney used to be a part of the mall as well.

Right now, Sears is engaging in conversations with Alberta Development Partners, the new owners of the mall, and the City of Fort Collins to see if a deal concerning Sears’ property can be reached.

Alberta has said that if it is not able to obtain Sears’ store, it will not spend the planned $100 million to redevelop the mall. If no agreement can be reached, the city will consider invoking eminent domain over the property.

More guns bought, more gun safes sold

A spike in gun sales — sparked by efforts at gun control by the Obama administration — has led to increased demand for Fort Knox safes sold by Fort Collins farmer Bill Seaworth and his son, Willy Seaworth.

The Seaworths recently returned to the safe business after having sold their company in 2005. The father-son team once again owns the sales division of the safe company based in Orem, Utah. They sell and install safes in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.

There may be no bad time to be in the safe business; Bill Seaworth says he sold “thousands” of safes between 1983 and 2005.

“The safe business is kind of like the liquor business: People drink when they’re happy, and they drink when they’re sad,” Bill Seaworth said. “When times are good, people want to lock their stuff up, and when times are bad, people want to lock their stuff up.”

Bill Seaworth, among Fort Knox’s top salesman for years, said he returned to the business in September. He since has sold as many as 10 safes in one day and a total of nearly 100 since September, he said.

“Everybody wants to … keep their guns locked up,” he said.

The safes cost between $1,500 and $15,000 and weigh between 500 and 2,500 pounds.

CSU recycles its way to sixth place in contest

CSU finished sixth overall and fourth among peer schools in a national competition measuring recycling efforts at home football games during the 2012 season.

CSU’s Department of Facilities Management, Department of Athletics and the College of Agricultural Sciences worked together to promote and track recycling efforts during Ag Day on Sept. 22. CSU diverted 82.3 percent of the accumulated waste toward recycling at its home game against Utah State University.

The efforts marked the second consecutive year CSU participated in the challenge, sponsored by the College and University Recycling Coalition and Keep America Beautiful. CSU finished 29th in 2011.

“We hope to do even better in next year’s competition,” said Sheela Backen, manager of CSU’s Integrated Solid Waste Program.

CSU was one of 40 schools participating in the contest. Ohio State University took the top spot.

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