Author James Patterson seeks foreclosure against sister's Bradenton gym

Inches Fitness closed earlier this month and is defending several lawsuits, including from owner's brother, James Patterson

cschelle@bradenton.comJuly 19, 2014 

WEST BRADENTON -- A company operated by "Alex Cross" author James Patterson is seeking foreclosure against his sister's West Bradenton gym, which has suddenly closed.

Inches Fitness, 4702 Cortez Road, ceased operations this month as the owner, Maryellen Patterson, is going through a foreclosure suit.

The mortgage holder is her brother, James Patterson, through his company MEFCL Holdings LLC. James Patterson's company had issued a $1.6 million mortgage for the gym in 2012, according to court records. After a consolidated loan and interest, Maryellen Patterson owes her brother's company nearly $1.9 million, according to court records.

MEFCL on Tuesday requested a final summary judgment for the foreclosure. James Patterson is known for his books "Daniel X," "Alex Cross" and "Kiss the Girls."

The 7,000-square-foot women's gym opened Jan. 14, 2013, and included a fitness room,

an indoor cycling room and a 20-foot by 25-foot heated saltwater pool.

The foreclosure also lists several subcontractors as defendants because of liens on the work. Some of the subcontractors protested outside of a book signing at the gym held by the author last year before some of them filed suit, claiming they were not paid for their work. Maryellen Patterson's attorney at the time, Adron Walker with Barnes Walker, posted on Facebook that no contract was signed between Inches and the subcontractors. It was up to the general contractor to pay the subcontractors, according to the attorney.

Barnes Walker withdrew representation on July 11 from several Inches cases, and Maryellen Patterson also requested that another firm, Adams Reese, be withdrawn from representing her in one of the cases, according to court documents.

The general contractor, Two Twelve Inc., and Inches were sued in March by subcontractor Bob Miller Masonry for nonpayment, but the case was voluntary dismissed Thursday. Bob Miller Masonry is also a defendant in the foreclosure suit. Two Twelve also has a counter claim against Inches, according to court records.

Another lawsuit against Inches brought by Miller Electric, also named in the foreclosure, is still open. The two sides were scheduled for mediation in May, but that conference was canceled, according to court records.

Another subcontractor, Davis Concrete, is seeking a judgment against Inches Fitness and Two Twelve, and that case is headed for a non-jury trial this fall.

Inches does not have an attorney listed for its foreclosure suit. That suit is in the lis pendens stage, which is the first step of the foreclosure process.

Maryellen Patterson could not be reached; a number listed for Inches Fitness has been disconnected.

Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.

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