GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – That vacant city block in downtown Greensboro where Hardee’s operated up until the pandemic is about to get a new enterprise: Starbucks.

A deal between coffee megamerchant Starbucks and the owner of the property, the LaRose Family Trust, was confirmed by Vince Howard of Brown Investment Properties in Greensboro, who represented the owner.

Starbucks will open a new outlet in downtown Greensboro. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

The address is 101 N. Edgeworth St., but you may recognize that this is a .85-acre parcel that is just north of the Bryan YMCA downtown and bordered by not only Edgeworth but also Friendly, Spring and Market streets.

Hardee’s ceased to serve hamburgers and chicken there during the coronavirus pandemic. The block has been quiet since.

The Triad Business Journal first reported the plan, and Howard told TBJ that he expected Starbucks to open in the spring with a full renovation of the former hamburger building.

In a follow-up exchange of emails with WGHP, Howard said that his group “did pursue Starbucks” for the site. He referred additional questions to a representative of Starbucks, who did not respond immediately to questions.

Zack Matheny, president of Downtown Greensboro Inc. and a member of the Greensboro City Council, said, “It is exciting that this dilapidated property will be a renewed positive development in a key location.”

Starbucks, based in Seattle, controls almost all of its 15,000-plus outlets in the U.S. rather than lease them to franchise owners, as some chains do.

Including outlets that operate inside other commercial facilities, including Harris Teeter, Target and Furnitureland, the company has about 30 locations in greater Greensboro. These include Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC A&T University and High Point University.

But Starbucks’ only presence downtown is a kiosk in the Marriott Hotel on North Elm Street. There are numerous independent coffee shops downtown, including The Green Bean, Dolce Aroma, Union Coffee, Cheesecakes’s by Alex and others. None is drive-through.

TBJ reported earlier this year that Starbucks planned to open a 2,500-foot space in the Grandover Village on West Gate City Boulevard. An outlet on Green Valley Road also opened late last year.

Starbucks opened in 1971 in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and in the 1980s owner Howard Schultz helped broaden the footprint to what is now nearly 35,000 stores worldwide. Next month the company is opening a 23,000-square-foot outlet in New York’s Empire State Building.