Longaberger's Big Basket building to be turned into hotel, owner says

Longaberger building in Newark, Ohio (Drew Anderson / WBNS-10TV)

Heritage Ohio board member Steve Coon, who purchased the Longaberger building in Newark in 2017, has announced plans to turn the building into a luxury hotel.

The announcement was made Monday night during Heritage Ohio’s Legacy Circle event.

The building has been vacant since 2016 and went out of business in 2018.

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Longaberger was once a hugely successful seller of handcrafted baskets.

The announcement had about 200 people cheering at Monday night’s Heritage Ohio Conference at the Longaberger basket, itself. Steve Coon with Coon Restoration who also owns the building says after he purchased it in 2017 it was shown as office space and market housing, but says he knew the future of the historic building had to be more sustainable.

“Our intention is to make this a hotel and we’ve just got to make the numbers work,” he said. “It’s a heavy lift, but it’s a great project to spend the time on to make happen.”

Coon says right now there is no price tag on the project, but he and his partners will be going after state and federal tax breaks as well as grants.

The Longaberger name, a one-time highly successful seller of handcrafted baskets, went out of business in 2017.

David Crisafi, with Ceres Enterprises and a partner in the project, says it will now be turned into a 150-room luxury hotel all while keeping the history of the building intact.

“This is kind of on the cutting edge of what you’re seeing in New York City, Chicago and Washington,” he said. “Taking old, historic buildings and turning them into hotels most of the time are old office buildings and it just works well.”

Coon says if everything falls into place, renovations on the building could begin in late 2020.

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