Merrill-Stevens boatyard faces foreclosure

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Merrill-Stevens has been hit with a foreclosure lawsuit targeting its historic boatyard.

Coconut Grove Bank issued a notice of foreclosure June 30 against Merrill-Stevens Dry Dock Co., according to Miami-Dade County Circuit Court records. It was part of a counter-complaint that the bank filed after the boatyard sued it on June 2, according to a report in the South Florida Business Journal.

Coconut Bank wants to seize Merrill-Stevens' 5.6-acre boatyard on both sides of the Miami River.

Merrill-Stevens was founded 124 years ago and has been on the Miami River since 1923. In 2004, Hugh Westbrook bought Merrill-Stevens and pledged to spend $60 million and create 300 jobs by redeveloping the site into a megayacht hub.

However, Westbrook said in a previous interview with the newspaper that a lack of financing stalled his plan.

In January, Merrill-Stevens laid off all but 28 employees and the business was effectively shut down. Previously, it had about 160 employees.

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