Auction operation moving into former garment factory

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An auction operation is moving into the former Indiana Knitwear building in Greenfield.

Mitchell Kirk | Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD – An auction operation is moving into a building that produced garments in the city for decades.

Landshark Holdings, LLC, run by Marc and Heather Huber of Greenfield, plan to move the auction operation into the building at 230 E. Osage St., owned by Indiana Knitwear Corp.

The building was built in 1949, according to a report prepared by the city of Greenfield. Landshark Holdings plans to use the building for the delivery and storage of goods to be sold in online auctions and to be distributed to auction winners. The company intends to hold live auctions as well. Landshark Holdings anticipates eight online auctions and one or two live auctions a month. Any live auctions will conclude by 10 p.m.

The two areas to be used for live auctions consists of 13,500 square feet on the main level while the 10,000-square-foot basement will be used for storage and delivery of auction items.

Marc Huber owns and operates Huber Auction Group, is the current president of the Indiana Auctioneers Association and is a contract auctioneer at Indianapolis-based Christy’s of Indiana as well as other auction operations. He’s also licensed as an auctioneer in Ohio.

He and Steve Elsbury, a lawyer representing Huber, spoke to the recent rising popularity of online auctions at a Greenfield Board of Zoning Appeals meeting earlier this month.

Elsbury explained that in an online auction, goods will be delivered to the site, photographed and then those photos are posted online. Participants bid online and the winner visits the facility to pick up what they won.

“Because of technology and COVID, live auctions took a hit,” Elsbury said. “So online auctions seem to be the way that everybody has gone.”

Huber said his company conducted over 150 auctions in 2021 and 2022, the majority of which were online.

“We think it could be a service to the community,” Huber said. “There used to be two, three, four auctions a month at the fairgrounds for years and years. COVID kind of wiped that out. So we’re just trying to fill a need that we see as being in the industry.”

The city board of zoning appeals approved measures needed for the Hubers to use the property for their auction operation. Board member Paulette Richardson thanked them for meeting with nearby residents and taking over what could have been a vacant building.

Indiana Knitwear was established as Indiana Rayon at 230 E. Osage St. in 1930 with 130 employees, according to Hancock County Historian Joe Skvarenina. The company changed its name to Indiana Knitwear in 1972 after having not used rayon for 25 years. At that point, it was the manufacturer of National Football League and National Hockey League ware for Walmart, Loga Athletics and Sears. The company was manufacturing 4.2 million garments a year. By 1993, Indiana Knitwear had three plants nationwide with over 220 employees. The company dissolved in 2016.