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Old High Country Host Building Becomes Pile of Rubble, Starbucks To Build Coffee House

The old High Country Host building is a pile of rubble now. By next spring, a Starbucks coffee house is expected to be up and running. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

The demolition of the former High Country Host building is taking place in order to make way for a new Starbucks coffee house.

Brenda Henson of Boone Planning and Inspections said that Starbucks has secured a demolition permit with the town but hasn’t yet applied for zoning and building permits.

Nash Three LLC purchased the property from the N.C. Department of Transportation, which acquired the property during the construction of U.S. 321 in the ‘80s. In 1985, High Country Host began running the visitors center on Pride Drive. This past summer, High Country Host moved to Blowing Rock, where it shares space inside of Appalachian Ski Mtn.’s welcome center at the Edmisten Road intersection on U.S. 321

Nash Three LLC purchased the 1.17-acre property last year after the NCDOT decided to sell after developers expressed interest in the highway frontage property. Currently, Publix Super Markets is being constructed on the old Kmart footprint.

Nash Three LLC submitted the highest bid at about $1.34 million. Nash Three LLC Principal Jordan Washburn told the Watauga Democrat earlier this year that Starbucks agreed to lease the property for a corporate store with plans for the store’s opening set for next spring.