Lovers of weird architecture can rest a little easier this week. Newark, Ohio’s iconic seven-story replica of a Longaberger basket—once the company’s headquarters—has finally sold after three years on the market. And the buyer certainly won’t “take the handles off.”
The structure and its surrounding 21 acres were purchased by developer Coon Restoration for a mere $1.2 million (its original price tag was $7.5 million) in addition to the payment of Longaberger’s back taxes on the building, in excess of $800,000.
Coon’s specialty is restoring and renovating old buildings into new residential and commercial spaces, and the company has contributed to a handful of local restoration projects including work on Newark’s Old Historic Jail and Pennsylvania Train Station. Coon plans on working with Sandvick Architects of Cleveland to transform the building for a new use.
“The Longaberger Basket Building is known all over the world, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to preserve and renovate this building and put it back into use,” said Steve Coon, principal of Coon Restoration, in a statement. “I have a big vision in mind to bring it back to life and keep the Longaberger story alive.”
The 180,000-square-foot basket was built in 1997 at the behest of company founder Dave Longaberger—for $32 million. It takes the shape of the company’s biggest seller, the “Medium Market Basket.”