"They (Trading Post) had caged windows and a gate around the front door to keep it locked," he said. "The paint was bad and the windows were awful.
"The outside just looked really bad."
The building has been vacant for about five years.
Kwok took advantage of the East End Main Street facade and sign grant program. She will be reimbursed $5,000 for improvements and $1,500 for signs, Cavender said.
"Carina (Kwok) is one of the East End businesspeople that get what we're trying to do on the East End," he said. "It's a great example of East End Main Street teaming up with a neighborhood business."
The building is about 3,000 square feet.
The decision does not have to go before the full city council for approval. However, it could be appealed to Kanawha Circuit Court, Brannon said.
The board also approved the installation of digital signs at five One Stops around the city.
A city ordinance prohibits the installation of digital signs because they can be distracting to drivers, Brannon said.
However, the planning department staff recommended the request be granted because the digital signs will be used only to display the price of gasoline.
"This is a unique situation because gas prices can change a couple of times in a week," Brannon said. "And in some extreme circumstances the gas prices can change a couple of times a day."
Gas station employees can easily change the prices on digital signs.