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The world's largest picnic basket is for sale for a bargain


Hungry enough to buy a building shaped like a gigantic picnic basket? For $700,000 you may be able to get the chance. 

After nine months on the real estate market, with a $5 million asking price, the "Big Basket" office building in Newark, Ohio, is headed for foreclosure auction, Bloomberg reports.

Officials in Licking County, Ohio, where it's located, are seeking the $700,000 in unpaid property taxes and other fees, reports Consumerist.

'Big Basket's' History 

Built in 1997, the 180,000-square-foot "Big Basket," belonged to the home decor Longaberger Company --a direct sales business known for its picnic baskets.  The company used the iconic building as an office building for almost 20 years until it was vacated last year after the company fell on hard times. 

The company went from $1 billion in 2000 to about $100 million in 2014 forcing several rounds of layoffs.

<b>TripAdvisor</b> calls it the “World’s Largest Basket,” and ranks it #5 of 18 things to do in Newark.

<b>Roadside America</b>  call it the "grandest monument to the highest pinnacle of achievement by an advanced consumer culture."

The rare architectural landmark has been called a piece of pop art.


Some on the Facebook group "Preserving the Longaberger 'Big Basket' as a National Treasure" --which is run by former company president Jim Klein --want it on the National Register of Historic Places.

Two giant handles weigh 75 tons.

Building the basket

Company founder Dave Longaberger, who died in 1999, dreamed up the idea for the building --which prompted push back from architects who tried to dissuade him from his vision to no avail. Two giant handles that span 150 feet and rise about 180 feet were reportedly constructed and welded together at the construction site and weigh 75 tons.  Each houses a particular heating unit to prevent ice from forming and falling onto a 4,500-square-foot glass ceiling. 

Who wants a seven-story basket?

That's a question many have been asking over the past few years. Removing the basket handles and putting a new facade on the building is pretty expensive.  Locals want it turned into a museum or community center.


A complaint for foreclosure is likely to be filed within "the next few weeks." But it could be several months before an auction is possible. Making matters worse, a lawsuit between Longaberger's former owner and JRJR Networks, which took control of the company in 2013, is complicating matters.  If delinquent taxes aren't paid, the county has the power to foreclose on the property and offer it at a sheriff's sale, Licking County Auditor Mike Smith said, but that isn't likely.

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