7 Uniontown properties owned by 84 Lumber founder sold for $410,500

Auctioneer Martin Higgenbotham, with Higgenbotham Auctioneers International, LTD, INC., goes through a listing and asks for bids while auctioning off numerous properties during a public auction held at Hilton Garden Inn, located in Uniontown on Thursday, May 19, 2016. The properties were purchased over a a decade ago, after businessman Joe Hardy was elected a Fayette County commissioner, he bought numerous properties in Uniontown as part of the “George C. Marshall Plan II,” his multimillion-dollar  downtown revitalization initiative.

Bidders on Thursday plunked down nearly a half-million dollars to lay claim to seven commercial buildings in downtown Uniontown, most of which were once part of a self­ made multi-millionaire’s plan to revitalize the city. Commercial Center Associates, a real estate development company owned by 84 Lumber founder Joe Hardy, had Higgenbotham Auctioneers International of Florida sell the properties. Bethany Cypher, chief operating officer for Commercial Center Associates, on Wednesday said Hardy wanted to unload the parcels so others can make a run at filling them with retail outlets and offices.

“He’s 93,” Cypher said. “He’s trying to pass on the torch of Uniontown, to see if other young entrepreneurs can give a go at the same type of thing he did…


“If it had wheels, he loved it,” Maas said recently, as auctioneer Marty Higgenbotham, of Lakeland, Fla.-based Higgenbotham Auctioneers International, and others worked to prepare Slagle’s estate for an auction that will take place Oct. 30-31.

Slagle, a retired union plumber and World War II veteran, purchased a 20-acre farm a few miles east of Overbrook in 1985 and moved there from Lawrence. After moving to his farm, he continued buying and bartering for vehicles, machinery and other items, Maas recalled, and continued to add extensions and build to have places to put things.

Though Slagle died at age 91 in August 2014 and for the last year or so lived with Maas and her husband, she said, he had formerly worked on his vast collection daily. “He had a plan every day when he got up,” she said. “He ate his breakfast, and he could tell you exactly what he was going to do that day — what vehicle he was working on, he was going to pull tires or wheels off, or pull an engine — and he would do all that by himself.”

Higgenbotham, who has been in the auction business for 56 years, says he has never seen a collection as “eclectic” as Slagle’s. “Most collectors that we deal with usually have a focus,” he said, such as automobiles, tractors or early trucks. “This gentleman, he liked anything with wheels.”

Check out the July Column from our Auctioneer, Donald Kirkland! This month’s article from Central Florida AgNews (CFAN) is part one of a series to educate bidders on how to make the best return on their auction dollaring.