MIAMI, Fla. -

Transfer of ownership of the landmark Coconut Grove Playhouse to Miami-Dade County began Tuesday when county commissioners voted unanimously to take responsibility for about $2 million in debts and begin the process of transferring the property title. 

The Playhouse, for decades the premiere regional theater in South Florida, went dark five-and-a-half years ago after a downward slide in its finances and management. 

The Playhouse board had tried unsuccessfully to reach settlements with two developers who sued Coconut Grove Playhouse LLC, the legal entity that owns the property, not the City of Miami as Local 10 reported Tuesday.

County commissioners were told the amount now owed by the Playhouse totals “approximately $2 million,” according to Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Director Michael Spring. 

Some of the debt includes money owed to the City of Miami for assorted code violations. 

Spring says the city is cooperating with the county to try to reach an amicable settlement.