Youth sports complex to replace longtime Indiana car auction
AUBURN, Ind. (AP) — A large youth sports and business complex is being planned for a northeastern Indiana site that has hosted major classic automobile auctions for decades.
J.T. Fisher Properties completed its purchase of the Auburn Auction Park this past week. The developer has plans for a $42 million project that includes 16 indoor basketball/volleyball courts, four soccer/lacrosse fields and eight baseball/softball fields.
A spokesman for RM Sotheby’s, which bought Auburn Auction Park in 2010, confirmed that the property sale means the end of the classic car auctions that drew thousands of people to Auburn each Labor Day weekend since 1971.
Project developer Joe Fisher said he wanted to fill a void in the northeastern Indiana area for a large youth sports complex. The company is looking to sell parts of the property along Interstate 69 about 15 miles north of Fort Wayne for the development of hotels, restaurants, a gas station and retail stores.
Some Auburn residents said they had mixed emotions about the planned project.
“I think it’s crazy. I think it needed to stay the way it was,” Penny Davidson said. “When the auctions were out there, I thought it was really cool. It’s just sad that it’s no longer an auction place.”