STOW — City lawmakers have authorized the first step toward Circle K’s proposed $3.9 million investment in a new prototype convenience store and gas station at 4936 Fishcreek Road.

John Iski, real estate development manager for Circle K Corp., says the existing building is 40 years old and the underground storage tanks there are 27 years old. He reports sales have declined at that Circle K location by about 30 percent over the past three years. If the remaining steps in the process proceed smoothly, Iski says construction will probably occur in spring and summer 2019, with a fall reopening.

Last month, Stow City Council unanimously approved a rezoning request for about 1.4 acres adjacent to the existing Circle K from R-3 Residential to C-3 Community Retail. The request was made by Savanna Van De Kamp Peet of Circle K, business owner, and Ruth Bourgeois and Richard Szeles of RSZ Properties, LLC, property owners. Stow Planning Director Rob Kurtz says such a rezoning is generally supported by the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which recognizes that rezoning may be required in this area to allow for existing businesses to expand provided that it is limited and that the resulting rezoning will represent an upgrade in the building’s design and landscaping or traffic improvements.

The next step in the process is for Circle K to seek site plan approval from the Planning Commission and City Council. The applicants also desire a subsequent lot consolidation south on both Fishcreek and Stow roads, which would create a new lot 2.7 acres in area. The current gas station is approximately 3,000 square feet in area and sits on a 0.6 acre parcel and Circle K hopes to construct a new building 4,350 square feet in size. The lot consolidation is an administrative approval that can happen sometime in the process, as long as it occurs prior to a building permit being issued, according to Kurtz.

Reporter Ellin Walsh can be reached at 330-541-9419, or @EllinWalsh_RPC.