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Staff photo by Mike Pare / Workers ready the site of a planned Starbucks near the Food City supermarket on Signal Mountain Road.

Starbucks is growing its Chattanooga footprint again with plans for a new location that taps into the growing Signal Mountain and Mountain Creek Road markets.

The coffee company is planning to open a 2,100-square-foot cafe in the fall or winter on an outparcel adjacent to the Food City shopping center, which is at 709 Signal Mountain Road.

Michael Mansson, director of development for the Charleston, South Carolina-based Ziff Properties, said the Starbucks will have both dine-in and drive-through features.

He said that tenants such as Starbucks typically look at traffic counts, accessibility, visibility and demographics when picking a location.

"These are all attributes associated with the overall shopping center," Mansson said about the site that sits at the foot of Signal Mountain.

A Starbucks spokesperson said the Seattle-based company is "always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers."

Plans are for the cafe to employ up to 30 people, the spokesperson said.

Chattanooga has more than a half dozen Starbucks locations, including four in the downtown area at the Read House, near the Tennessee Aquarium, on the North Shore and at Erlanger Hospital.

Mansson said that Ziff once owned the Signal Mountain shopping center where the new Starbucks will go, and it owns the CubeSmart Self Storage facility nearby on Mountain Creek Road. It also owns the East Brainerd Shopping Center on East Brainerd Road, he said.

The area around Signal Mountain and Mountain Creek roads has seen new development in recent years. An Aldi grocery store and Tractor Supply Co. unit have opened in a former Kmart shopping center nearby.

About two weeks ago, Starbucks announced it was moving hundreds of North American stores away from the cafe model and expanding its pickup-only and to-go business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, the company said it was to close up to 400 stores in the United States and Canada over the next 18 months. Starbucks told investors earlier this month that it had reopened 95% of its U.S. stores after closing them in March due to social distancing guidelines.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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