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Friday, October 17, 2014

1314 Petronia Street - Key West - The Meadows Area

The new listing at 1314 Petronia Street located in the Meadows Area of Key West is not the typical cottage most of my readers are looking to buy. But maybe it should be. Consider the features of this new property as describe by the listing Realtor:
"This vibrant, avant-garde 2 bed 2 bath masterpiece, embodies the elegant, tropical indoor/outdoor living for which Key West is famous. Glass sliders disappear, uniting the living room with the poolside, covered outdoor dining area and stunning stainless steel wet bar. The stylish kitchen features gas cooking, granite counter-tops, and ample space for prep and entertainment. The master bedroom suite features vaulted ceilings, double French doors leading to a private terrace, en suite bath with adjoining outdoor shower and direct access to pool. Also handy to the pool and master suite is a dry bar with extra storage. The guest bedroom has private access to second bath and spacious laundry room. Come see this secret gem in the Meadows today!"
The dining room, kitchen, and living room all have views that look out to the covered outdoor living area and pool.  The master bedroom with en-suite bath is located a step or two away which makes an early morning or a late night dip a pleasure. The guest room is conveniently located on the back side of the house for total privacy.
CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of 1314 Petronia Street.  This home would make a great vacation rental property. Who wouldn't love to get up in the morning or go to bed in the evening in a home that is so open and welcoming?  This two bedroom, two bath home is offered for sale at $1,034,950. Better than looking at photos, however, is taking a look at the house itself. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

626 William Street - Old Town - Key West

626 William Street, Key West, is now offered for sale at the asking price of $2,950,000.  This home is one of fifteen Key West properties that Broadway impresario Jerry Herman (Mame, Hello Dolly, and La Cage aux Folles) and his former partner Marty Finkelstein renovated.
Before I started to write today's blog I decided to do a bit or research about Herman. He and his partner flew to the Florida Keys for a weekend in 1984. They met up with a local Realtor who showed them two nearly identical houses in the 700 block of Fleming Street across from the Monroe County Public Library. They ended up buying the two houses, restoring and selling them.  They like Key West so much that they formed Majer Design (a combination of their names) to buy, renovate, and sell the various properties. They worked with local architect Tom Pope on these projects. One Herman biographer described Herman's design aesthetic as "sumptuous" with a penchant for clean, classical lines.  
I found an old black and white photo of the house that was taken in 1965. The house probably looked about the same before Majer Design started its renovation and expansion. Today when you look at 626 William Street you will appreciate this house for its classic revival style architecture that Herman and Finkelstein improved upon. The carriage house visible in the black and white photo is gone. Today there is an alle that flanks either side of a lengthy swimming pool to the rear of the property where a guest cottage exists. 
The listing Realtor describes this historic property this way:
"A Historic Masterpiece, come revel in this homage to the art filled mansions of long ago. In the heart of Old Town w/5BR/4.5BA, incl. 1BR/1BA guest cottage, relax by one of the largest pools in Key West or indulge your creative side in the detached studio/office. Massive greatroom & flowing design make entertaining a delight. Master BR has soaring ceilings & a pair of his/her closets bigger than most Manhattan apartments! Access to Baker's Ln via an electronic locked gate, Dynasty & SubZero appliances, storage for over 3000 bottles of wine, 25KW gen., video security system, off-st parking for 8 SMART cars, 18ft above sea level, even a well to water the extensive grounds! This is one of the rare properties that can truly say it has it all!"
Below you will find photos I recently took of this unique home starting at the front entry, progressing to the great room in the Herman-Finkelstein addition to the property, kitchen and front main floor bedroom or study. Second floor photos show two guest bedrooms with baths and the master suite with expansive bath and walk-in closets.
Dade County Pine walls make great backdrops for the art collection that extends up the stairway to the second floor bedrooms. The front bedroom has a door that opens to the front balcony that overlooks beautiful William Street. The Herman-Finkelstein addition at the rear has a back balcony that overlooks the pool and rear gardens. Imagine as I did Jerry Herman standing on the rear balcony peering out to the pool, surveying the wonderful renovation and expansion he achieved in this property.
 The covered loggia off the great room includes a professional bar and informal entertaining area.  An alle of tropical foliage flanks either side of the pool where there is plenty of space to catch a Key West tan. The guest cottage at the rear comes with its own kitchen, bath, and living space. An adjacent building is used as an office. Other buildings at the rear provide storage. And then there is that gate that leads to Bakers Lane. Years before Herman bought and sold 626 William Street, James Leo Herlihy (author of Midnight Cowboy) owned 709 Bakers Lane. 

CLICK HERE to view 97 photos I took of this incredible property. Imagine how you might decorate it to fit your own design aesthetic.

You can view the details of this classic revival house if you CLICK HERE. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

1109 Fleming Street, Key West, Florida - Bank Owned Property

The Just Listed Bank Owned property at 1109 Fleming Street in Key West is certainly something to cheer about. This Old Town home dates back to before 1889 when it first appeared in the historic Sanborn Fire Map for that year when the property was identified as 416 Fleming Street instead of 1109 Fleming.  The numbers were changed in the 1899 map. The facade of the house today looks quite similar to the way it did back in 1965 when the black and white photo below was taken. Thank goodness for our Historic Architectural Review Commission and the Guidelines that help us protect our architectural treasures like this eyebrow house that dates back to the late 1800s. A new owner will get the opportunity to own this Bank Owned home sometime in the near future. Might that someone be you?
The listing Realtor describes this property as  an "Elegant Historic Home located a desirable area of Old Town. Large spacious rooms in main house. Downstairs has kitchen, Formal living, 1 bedroom and 1 bath and laundry room. Upstairs has 3 large bedrooms and 3 full baths. Second unit in the back of the property has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths with a large loft area; all fenced in for privacy." It is much more than that. Much more.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on this property. I have used the term "property" instead of "house" because there are actually three structures on the huge lot that measures 50 feet wide by 170 feet deep or 8500 square feet. Frequent readers and Zillow and Trulia followers know that there are few lots in Old Town that are this large. So in addition to having three buildings, this lot is immense. But there's even more to the lot than meets the eye. If you look at the front yard you won't see any driveway cut and you would assume this potentially pretty pad lacks parking. But you would be wrong. There currently exists a carport attached to the two story cottage at the rear. Gates open out to Stickney Lane which meanders eastward to White Street just behind the Island House guest house. The carport can be upgraded and space expanded to provide additional parking.  (For trivia fans, Stickney Lane was identified as Beach Court Lane in the 1889 Sanborn Map.)
The eyebrow house is the main attraction at this property. According to the property appraiser, the eyebrow house has 2042 sq ft of living space under air. The old metal louvers partially visible in the 1965 photo were replaced - presumably when the house was updated.  There may have been more than one renovation to the property as well. The online property records do not show all building permits. Substantial improvements were made including what appears to be all new concrete piers, windows, central air-conditioning, electrical, and plumbing as well as the construction of a two story kitchen and bedroom addition to the back of the eyebrow house and the construction of the cottage at the rear of the property. The online records suggest the kitchen addition was built in 2001. The two story cottage at the rear may appears to be an older building that has been updated.  The property appraiser shows the rear cottage as being 2000 sq ft. I am not sure that is accurate.  A third building is located in the middle of the yard. It was built around 1950 and is shown as being 440 sq ft.
I took a lot of photos of the inside of the three buildings and the yard. You can see these photos if you CLICK HERE.  My opinion is the eyebrow house needs a makeover not to fix something that is broken or in need of repair. This place is not broken. It just needs some luvin. However, a new owner could be perfectly happy just moving in and turning on the electricity and water because that could work. Photos of the back cottage are below.
The middle portion of this lot includes the non-contributing 400 sq ft cottage and a bunch of trees. If the cottage and trees were to be removed, a large pool could be constructed and new gardens planted with the trees located in the right places. Perhaps the new owner would add decks to the back of the eyebrow house to include covered outdoor dining and entertaining space. These improvements would add tremendous value to this property. The good thing is there is open space on both sides of the read addition to the eyebrow house for either expansion or creation of decks or both.
Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this incredible bank owned property that has a lot of genuine potential. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.