A basket-shaped sightseeing oddity in Newark, Ohio will soon be vacant and ready for the next company to move in – that is, if anyone is interested. The Longaberger basket company has done their business in the building for nearly 20 years, yet an economy no longer so interested in quality woven receptacles has forced them to relocate to a more modest setting.
The Longaberger company will be consolidating its workers to its smaller Frazeyburg campus, according to their parent company, JRJR Networks. The year after the building was finished in 1999, just before the death of owner Dave Longaberger, the company was bringing in $1 billion. They have since reduced their staff from 500 to just 68.
The giant “medium market” basket was a thrill for road trippers, but offered little more than a photo opportunity. The Frazeyburg located Londaberger Marketplace provides visitors with factory tours and a chance to purchase an actual basket – a better fit for a shrinking company and public demand. Right now foreclosure is looming over the building. If no one jumps on the steep minimum bid of $570,000 (plus court costs), the building will go to the county’s land bank.