A new Five Below store could be headed to Chardon soon after city Planning Commission members last week approved an architectural design to remodel the former Staples store in the Meadowlands Town Center owned by RCG Chardon LLC.

The remodel of the property located on the west side of Meadowlands Drive near the intersection of Center Street (Route 44) includes subdividing the store into two tenant spaces and exterior renovations to the storefront and walkway.

“There are no real tenants to take all of the Staples space so they are going to renovate it into two new storefronts,” Community Development Administrator Steven M. Yaney said during the Feb. 16 meeting. “One of which will be Five Below which is a store, so they would take half of the old Staples space and then there would still be half of it left.”

The new Five Below space will be located to the left side of the center load storefront of the space. Instead of having all brick, the new storefront will incorporate a lot more glass with brick to match the existing storefront and have oyster shell for the background color with cornices painted China white, according to the plans.

The exterior insulation finishing system on the storefront will match the existing sign bands for the other tenants from Game Stop to Dollar Tree, officials said.

At the request of the planning commission and city architect, approximately 200 square feet of landscaping will be removed that was along the existing wall between Game Stop and the entrance where Staples was located, which is being removed for the glass storefront for Five Below, and a new stairwell for the elevation change and a handicap ramp from the upper to the lower level of the facility that is being replaced with a landscape island.

Mr. Yaney stated that the second space will be used for a future tenant to move into or create a new leasing space.

“It is a significant renovation with maintaining the high standard that is at the Meadowlands Town Center area between our Home Depot or Walmart in the shopping center,” said Mr. Yaney. “We have a very high-end retail corridor through there and this is going to be a maintaining with that.”

In other business, planning commission members approved an architectural review and variance request by NDS Orthodontics.

“Dr. Steven Gajda wants to remodel and move his practice there,” Mr. Yaney said. “He is in Village Station now in that multi-tenant office complex.”

The variance for the property located on the south side at the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street allows Dr. Gajda to reduce the minimum side yard setback from 15 feet to 13 feet.

Renovations to the building will include adding a second floor with dormers along with a storage and mechanical area, according to the plan.

City officials said the applicants made significant improvements to get the site in compliance including the addition of landscaping, adding an island in the parking lot in lieu of just a sheet of asphalt, striping the parking lot and the marking of handicap spaces all of which were approved by the planning commission.

Mr. Yaney also stated that they will be removing a significant portion of the non-conforming gravel in the rear and adding a sidewalk along the back of the building for ingress and egress. Windows will be added around the building to the sides into the back that will open up the structure to create more of an office feel as opposed to a 1970s convenience store.

“This is quite the improvement on the property that has been vacant probably for five or six years,” said Mr. Yaney. “This building was going to be home to Cameo Jewelers and those plans were approved several years ago but that never came to fruition and Cameo Jewelers ended buying the bank building across the street and moving there instead.”

The meeting was held via Zoom. The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for March 16 at 6:30 p.m.

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