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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Politics & Real--Estate Key West Style



A while back I mentioned the conviction of noted former Monroe County Attorney Jimmy Hendricks, CLICK HERE in US District Court. The charges were conspiracy, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Well, this morning's Key West Citizen has a story about the arrest of 74 year old Assistant City Manager, John Jones, on two charges of "FRAUD-IMPERSONATION OF A BUILDING CODE INSPECTOR FIRST VIOLATION".
CLICK HERE to read the story.

I mention this again because the politics of how real estate gets developed is a big deal in Key West. And for some reason criminal charges (and sometimes criminal convictions) are often a direct result of the development process.


Same newspaper, same day, some of the same characters has this headline: Lawsuit, neighbors lose battle over building transfers. CLICK HERE to read the item. The paper reported about a Key West Planning Board meeting where the board approved a plan to let Pritam Singh (developer of many projects in Key West) parlay building rights from the razed Hampton Inn on North Roosevelt Boulevard into two transient rental units at 707 Simonton. Jimmy Hendrick was at the meeting acting as Singh's land-use consultant and persuaded the Planning Board the transfer is legal because a court has not ruled against the city in a pending lawsuit.

And for those who think the Key West real estate market has hit bottom, or hasn't even got anywhere near the bottom, I would suggest that you step back and consider this. Some very big players are spending a lot of money on several really big projects in Key West. The little uproar over two transient units on Simonton Street is no big deal. But the players make it a big deal because there is money to be made as a result of the issuance of transient licenses at that location. And the continued development of other projects supports the premise that there is substantial future money to be made in Key West real estate.

If you Google the term "politics and real estate development" you will find 11,600 links discussing the topic. Maybe the two items in today's Key West Citizen are among those 11,600 because in Key West politics and real estate go hand in hand (or maybe hand in pocket).

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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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.