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Video store may be in Twin Cities' future

Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, April 15, 2013 12:29 p.m. CST

STERLING – If the distance from the Twin Cities to Dixon seems a long way to go to rent movies, you might be glad to hear that Family Video is still hoping, especially “now,” to open a store in Sterling or Rock Falls.

The company announced recently on the sign for its Dixon store that it is “expanding locations.”

Those who read my blog in October 2011 might remember that spokesman Jim Burda said the company would like to open in Sterling or Rock Falls and was looking for a space.

Burda told me this week in a voicemail that the company’s president gave him a personal phone call, which he typically does not do, to tell him he “especially now is very interested in pursuing even more aggressively trying to have Family Video in the Sterling-Rock Falls area.”

And why the recent increase in the interest?

Well, the two Video Villager stores, one in Sterling and the other in Rock Falls, closed Feb. 9, leaving the Twin Cities with no video rental stores.

But that’s not it, Burda said.

They are particularly interested now, he said, because of their partnership formed in 2012 with Marco’s Pizza, a pizza chain based in Toledo, Ohio. The Sterling-Rock Falls area is being considered for a joint Family Video-Marcos Pizza location. The companies would both be owned and operated by Family Video, Burda said, and they would deliver pizza and movies for a small, as-yet-undetermined delivery fee. Delivery people would offer to return movies if needed, and the company is experimenting with online ordering at its other 13 Marcos-Family Video locations, he said.

The company would like to buy a building now, rather than rent space, and it wants to be as close as possible to the former Blockbuster store at 20 W. Third St. in Sterling, Burda said. The building, owned by CGH Medical Center, is being used as the Sterling City Hall Annex while the Coliseum is being renovated.

Family Video is currently working with a local broker to find a location, Burda said.. The building would have to have about 6,000 to 7,000 square feet and have ample parking to accommodate both companies, he said.

They want the store to be “centrally located” between the two cities, he said.

“The closer we can get to the area of where the Blockbuster was, we feel we probably can capture a greater, excited, bricks-and-mortar audience,” he said.

After finding the right property, the company might need 6 to 9 months for construction and other preparations before opening, Burda said.

Marcos Pizza uses fresh ingredients and makes dough fresh daily on premises, and offers a thin crust and a “classic” thick crust, which is not deep dish, Burda said. They use an authentic Italian recipe that was passed down in the family of founder Pat Giammarco, Burda said. The chain also offers pasta, sub sandwiches and salads.

A Family Video itself would employ six to 10 people, and a pizzeria would employ another 15 to 20, Burda said.

The Family Video store in Dixon could “very possibly down the road” have a Marco’s Pizza attached, he said, but the store’s building, which is about 5,000 square feet, is a bit small for the two businesses, he said.

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