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Saturday, February 16, 2008

High Society: Key West Steamplant Condos




Just before sunset there was a soiree at the new Steamplant Condominiums located at the foot of the Key West Seaport. Realtors only. But the public is invited for a look see on Sunday. Go take a peek and see what you think. Come back and leave your comments here.

The Steamplant is touted as an art deco building, but it was built in 1951 so I'm not sure if it would really qualify as art deco. It was the place where the Key West City Electric Company (now Keys Energy) made electricity. After Key West started getting its electricity from the mainland, the building was no longer necessary. The powers that be declared the building iconic and historically significant and demanded that it be renovated and not torn down.

Ed Swift took us on the tour yesterday and I asked how much of the old building remained. He said the front wall. He called what they did a "facadectomy". They built an entirely new building and retained the historic front wall as a skin. They do the same thing all the time on old houses down here. It makes no sense, and it's a con. But it is considered legal.

There are nineteen condos in the building. Each unit is accessed from covered parking by private elevator. Some of the units that face the seaport are called flats because they occupy just one floor. And the units that face the city are called townhouses because they occupy two floors. Each unit has its own rooftop pool where the owner can dip but not dive. CLICK HERE for a peek at a pool. That photo is for real. It is not a fake. That is the pool you get. The rooftop terraces that overlook the seaport have commanding views, but the terraces themselves are half the size of the townhouse side of the building where the views are less interesting. But that is just my opinion.

There is a huge public rooftop terrace that overlooks the seaport as well. That terrace has a permanent catering kitchen and bar. The developer said that the profile of the Steamplant owners is such that he expects many events and fund raisers will be held on that terrace. High Society indeed. I can just see Fred and Ginger dancing on the terrace.

The units are large--no huge by Key West standards. They range in size between 2072 to over 3500 square feet. When you add the floor level terraces and the rooftop terraces the combined spaces are between 2879 to 5477 square feet--depending on the particular unit. No two units are the same. However, all share the same quality finishes and amenities. Top of line across the board.

We toured several of the units on both sides to get a feel for the layouts. The owners of one townhouse have spent an additional $250,000 in upgrades the already expensive unit. And the developer told us of another happy homeowner who spent $450,000 on upgrades. (That is so typical of what a lot of rich buyers do when they buy an expensive home in Old Town or Casa Marina: they tear everything apart and redo it. Even if it is new and beautiful. They are like dogs who must make their mark.)

I won't bore you with the details but the building has a full time property manager, a concierge, and staff to maintain the individual pools and attend each property owner's rooftop terrace (garden). There's a car wash, gym, meeting rooms, you get the picture

We have a resale in the building. And there are a few buyers (speculators) who have resales available as well. And the developer still has a "couple" of units left. I would be happier than the dickens to accompany an interested buyer to tour this property. Units are priced $2,750,000 and up.
CLICK HERE for more info and more pics on the available units.

This property was built for the wealthy. If you have a yacht and want a permanent base to house your baby or a friendly port, the Key West Steamplant may be your second home. Or third or fourth. There are boat slips available at the Historic Seaport. And the City of Key West is at your doorstep. Give me a call if you're looking for a place like this: 305-766-2642.

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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.