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April 24. 2013 11:53PM

Whitefield furniture plant to auction block

WHITEFIELD - A closed furniture plant that once employed more than 100 people when it was in full production is now being readied for the auction block in June.

When Brown Street Furniture and Vermont Tubbs owners closed up last summer and laid off their remaining 35 workers, the twin brothers in charge called that move temporary.

But the decision now appears permanent.

After what were apparently unsuccessful attempts for nearly a year by owners Kyle and Adam Tager to find investors or a buyer for the two buildings and their 48,000 square feet of factory space, the structures and everything in them will be offered for sale in just over a month.

The "total liquidation" auction will be run by the Thomas Hirchack Co. of Stowe, Vt., where a spokeswoman Wednesday directed questions to a listing on the company's website.

The four-parcel property on Brown Street that totals about three acres is scheduled for a June 6 sale starting at 9:30 a.m. that will include - according to the listing - all furniture-making equipment, including saws, clamps, wide-belt sanders, planers, jointers and compressors.

Also for sale will be spray booths, finished furniture, "work in progress," and office contents.

"Hardwood home furnishings include beds, bureaus, night stands, occasional tables, case pieces & more," auctioneers said in the listing.

At the Lancaster office of Passumpsic Savings Bank, the principal mortgage holder on the Whitefield property, Sarah Desrochers, vice president for commercial loans, said in a brief interview that she didn't believe she could say much about the property or the upcoming auction.

When the doors closed last July, co-owner Kyle Tager called the move a "suspension."

"By no means is it a closing. We do have some opportunities. We had a great deal of business, but not the capital resources," to fund the day-to-day plant operation," he said then.

Former plant manager A.J. Peterson said at the time that Brown had plenty of work orders, but that cash flow had been a big problem.

A furniture maker, Peterson said, had to be "cash strong" to maintain payroll and other expenses and withstand the long time span from receiving an order, through production, to delivery when the company would finally see its money.

A current listing could not be found for Tager.


bhookway@newstote.com



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