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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Key West Commercial Real Estate

Ever hear of Seller's Remorse? It is when a seller regrets having nixed a sale because he thought he could get more for the property at a later date only to find out that he was wrong. Dead wrong.

Such may be the case for the owner of a commercial condo CLICK HERE located in the same developments as our office, Duval Square at 1075 Duval Street.

The Duval Square is is a planned unit development that stretches from Duval to Simonton Street just one block south of Truman. There are several restaurants including Square One Restaurant plus various commercial businesses on the ground floor and about 22 two story townhomes on the second and third levels of the buildings. We are about four blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. Upper Duval has really changed in since the mid 1980's. Back then the world famous LaTeDa's guesthouse and restaurant were the primary commercial activity in the area. But two decades later there are many restaurants, galleries, guesthouses, and the Butterfly Conservancy that line the street.

Club Body Tech closed its doors two years ago. I was a member and the gym had been a thriving business. In my opinion the absentee owners hired a very poor manager that ran the business into the ground. Equipment got broken and wasn't repaired. The showers and locker rooms were never clean. The office was as messy as a pig sty. And the membership fees were very high compared to the level of service offered.

The condo owner has had the property on the market ever since the gym closed. The initial asking price was $1.3 million. That is $387 per square foot for the largest commercial space in the complex--3361 square feet. The first Realtor to list the property told me that the seller did have offers near the asking price but that he wouldn't budge off the asking price. Two years later the price was just reduced to $600,000 or less than half of the original asking price. The price per foot today is $178. There are three other commercial spaces also for sale and they are priced at $684 per sq ft (656 sq. ft.), $570 per sq. ft. (700 sq. ft.), and $873 per sq. ft (800 sq. ft.).

Now the owner of the former gym property bought the unit in 1996 and paid $300,000 so he will not lose and principal but his holding costs (taxes, insurance, association fees, cma fees, and debt service if any) are adding up. Two of the owners of the other units for sale bought at prices much lower than their asking price so they are alright as well. But I do think there prices are very aggressive for this market. The owner of the forth unit paid $450,000 three years ago and he must be bleeding. His space is across the courtyard from the old Club Body Tech and several different businesses have failed at that same location.

I think the owner of the commercial condo that was the Club Body Tech probably does have seller's remorse. And I think the sellers of the three other units for sale need to reassess their current asking prices. There is not a lot of commercial space for sale in Key West overall. There are, however, too many commercial spaces for sale of for lease on Duval. Duval Street property owners have gotten way to greedy for their own good. They charge exorbitant rent which causes small business owners to fail whether they lease or own the property because the lease payments or mortgage payments are too demanding. Other commercial areas of Key West seem to fare much better.

CLICK HERE to search for additional commercial properties in Key West and the lower Florida Keys. Then give me a call to help you find your next business in Paradise 305-766-2642 or email at

1 comment:

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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.