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Thornwood factory, contents set to be auctioned Nov. 15

PHOENIX - The former 500,000-square-foot case goods manufacturing facility of Thornwood Mfg. here is set to be sold at auction this week.
     Craig Thorn, a controlling officer in the company, said it was unable to find a suitable partner or buyer and is proceeding with liquidation.
     Thorn said about 300 jobs were lost in closing the plant over the past 90 days. He said the company ceased manufacturing about three weeks ago.
     The cost of running such a large manufacturing business was probably the biggest contributor to the bankruptcy, he said.
     "It's a big boat to steer. It isn't like you can maneuver very rapidly," Thorn said. "With this kind of overhead it's incredibly burdensome. Our property tax burden annually is nearly a half-million dollars. Those are the kinds of things you can't get out from underneath."
     A copy of the auction notice is online at 5&type=at&in=2.
     Set for Nov. 15, the auction includes the property and contents such as CNC machines, panel saws, routers, sanders and banding equipment, among other items.
     Thornwood, a manufacturer of hospitality and residential furnishings, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2010, saying it was a victim of the housing market collapse.
     Thornwood began operating in 1987 with less than $1 million in sales and a handful of workers but by 2004 was generating $60 million in annual sales with a workforce of 850.
     This summer, the company sought to sell assets or find a financial partner to help fund reorganization.
     Thorn said he aims to do some furnishings-related work in the future.
     "I do love this industry, obviously. I've been doing it for 30 years. I have a lot of great friends and I'll continue to do something in it," he said.

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