Framing is underway on the future freestanding Starbucks location on Bush Drive in Morganton.

The frame of the building that will become Morganton’s new freestanding Starbucks location is up.

Construction continues on the upcoming coffee shop on Bush Drive between McDonald’s and Hampton Inn, with the building beginning to take shape.

“We have issued permits for the construction of the shell building that will house Starbucks,” said Phillip Lookadoo, director of development and design for the city of Morganton. “Currently, construction is underway and framing is taking place. The city has approved plans for the up-fit which should begin once the shell building is complete.”

Grading on the site by Abbott Construction began in early March, and that company is erecting the shell building. At that time, Mike Hall, the job superintendent, estimated that constructing the shell building would take 3-4 months, depending on the weather.

Plans submitted to the city of Morganton in November showed the building would stand at 2,500 square feet with 40 parking spaces in the lot on Bush Drive, with about 583 square feet of patio space.

Starbucks’ beverage menu includes hot coffees, cold coffees, frappuccinos, hot teas, iced teas and other hot and cold beverages. Its food ranges from hot breakfast to bakery items, lunch, snacks, sweets, yogurt and custard.

The News Herald first reported on Starbucks’ interest in Morganton in October when Lookadoo said the city received some preliminary plans for a standalone coffee shop with a drive-thru. The property is a little more than 1 acre and it’s valued at $255,644, according to Burke County land records.

In December 2006, the restaurant group Ruby Tuesday Inc. bought the property for $495,000 with the intention of building a restaurant. Not long after that, the Great Recession hit the country and the restaurant never materialized.

The restaurant sold the property in December 2018 for $200,000 to Norvell Development LLC, according to county property records. The deed was transferred to Norvell Bush Drive in May 2019, records show

Lookadoo previously said the Starbucks project is being undertaken by the same businesspeople responsible for bringing in the new LongHorn Steakhouse nearby across Sterling Street.

Justin Epley is a staff writer for The News Herald. He can be reached at jepley@morganton.com.

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