The former Zeko’s Village restaurant off of Interstate 40 Exit 105 in Morganton is likely coming down this week to prepare for future development of the site.

D.H. Griffin officials said demolition of the former eatery, located at 2158 S. Sterling St., is expected to start Wednesday morning. Heavy construction equipment and Piedmont Natural Gas trucks were at the site on Tuesday.

Morganton City Manager Sally Sandy said the demolition is associated with the road project that will cut through the property from South Sterling Street to West Parker Road. The road already has been cut through the property. The access road is the key piece of a planned development that will be anchored by a restaurant and hotel.

The budget for the road project is a little more than $1.3 million, which the city received by way of a grant from Appalachian Regional Commission in 2017. The new road will align with Grace Hospital Parkway so that means the signal poles will have to be moved as part of the project, according to city officials.

Plans call for the former Abele’s Family Restaurant building at 2156 S . Sterling St. to be demolished as well but that is a separate project, Sandy said.

That site is where LongHorn Steakhouse will be built. However, Sandy said she doesn’t believe the sale of the property for the LongHorn has closed.

In addition, a select service hotel with around 100 rooms is planned to be located on the property on the hill behind Sonic Drive-In that will have visibility from Interstate 40. The name of the hotel has not been revealed.

Sharon McBrayer is a staff writer and can be reached at smcbrayer@morganton.com or at 828-432-8946.

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