Miami yacht repair and refit company Merrill-Stevens Dry Dock Co is facing the prospect of having its boat yard seized following the issue of a foreclosure notice by the Coconut Grove Bank. The bank, which holds a $15m mortgage on the boatyard, issued the foreclosure notice on June 30 according to a report in the South Florida Business Journal.
The mortgage was taken out in 2008 and is due to mature at the end of February next year. The boatyard covers an area of 5.6 acres including sites on both sides of the Miami River. Merrill-Stevens has been at this site since 1923 and has been in existence for 124 years.
The company has been a leading player in the yacht repair and refit market but due to the market downturn the yard was effectively closed earlier this year with only 28 workers out of more than 100 being kept on.
The owner of the yard, Hugh Westbrook, had planned to invest some $60m in expanding it and developing it into a superyacht-focused facility. Due to a shortfall of funding, the plans were never implemented. The yard now has an uncertain future.