Five Below opens in rejuvenated Freeport shopping center

Discount store part of $11M renovation project
Five Below, is now open in The Meadows shopping center in Freeport, Illinois.
Five Below, is now open in The Meadows shopping center in Freeport, Illinois.("Five Below Store, Wallingford, CT, 2014, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube #Five #Below" by JeepersMedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:56 PM CST
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - Thanks to a re-imagined vision, Five Below and other retailers are moving into The Meadows shopping center in Freeport, bringing new life to a space that experienced several years of decline.

“We’re always appreciative of when the new ownership of The Meadows is making that commitment to this community and making the investment to fixing up the mall and adding amenities to it to attract businesses like Marshalls and Five Below,” said Bill Clow of the Greater Freeport Partnership. “That’s always a positive thing.”

Five Below is part of a $11 million renovation project that also includes Marshalls, a pet supply store, and a brand-new dog park. City officials say the project is vital to the economic health of the city.

“We really live and die on sales tax to run our city government,” said Freeport City Manager Randy Bukas. “So, it’s really important that have a retail base here to go along with our industrial base that we have. We are increasing our tax base for part-time work and also full-time workers.”

Shoppers are also excited about the ongoing renovations. Freeport resident Merida Smith just discovered Five Below and says she plans on stopping in regularly.

“I found me some pajama sets, some clothes, some T-shirts, exercise equipment, gym shoes--they have it all,” she said.

Future projects at The Meadows include a Hy-Vee grocery store at the site of the old Kmart building.