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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Architectural Icon - 1415 Alberta Street - Key West

The French Polynesian style home at 1415 Alberta Street in Key West's tony Casa Marina area was just listed for sale at $1,275,000 or only $504 per sq ft. The property was built in 1963 and it was featured in Architectural Digest in 1968. To read the article and view the photos of the 1415 Alberta Street as is appeared in Architectural Digest in 1968. It may take a couple of minutes to download. CLICK HERE.

This property is not our listing. I met with the listing agent two days ago so that I could preview the house for a client. I sent my client photos and decided this house is just too interesting not to pass on to the public.

The house has been updated over the years, and in my opinion, it needs to be updated again but in a way that maybe takes it back to its original design. The house was built to take advantage of Key West's temperate climate. The rooms opened to tropical courtyards. The house was not closed and air conditioned. Read the Architectural Digest article for more info on the design and function. The renovations must go. The property needs help. I'm not being mean. I am being realistic.

But when you consider the unique structure, the huge lot by Key West standards (10,000 sq ft), and the premium location just a block from the beach in an area of equally expensive properties, you will share my enthusiasm for this property. There is only one property like this in Key West. And that makes it very valuable in my opinion. If you watched Bravo TV's premiere episode of Million Dollar Listing this past Tuesday you saw a prime example of a Realtor trying to get a client to tie-up a unique property before someone else grabs it. The Realtor was Josh Flagg and he got a listing on the home of the late Jay Bernstein. That house was once owned by Carol Lombard. The house had fallen into deep disrepair but it had (to quote a line from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)a "most excellent" location. Josh hosted an open house and tried to get some of his well healed buyers to look at the property. One such buyer was his dentist, Dr. Sam. Dr. Sam like the place but was slow to act. Another buyer ponied up with a low ball offer and the executor for the estate accepted the offer. Dr. Sam tried to submit a backup offer that met the original asking price. But it was too late. He lost out and the lower offer prevailed.

That's the story so many times in real estate--especially in a place like Key West. Key West is full of truly unique homes. Key West is not like Miami or Ft. Lauderdale with street after street of similarly styled and sized houses laid out in monotonous blocks. It just happens that in a town full of architecturally unique homes, the house at 1415 Alberta may be one of the most unique of all. And when it gets purchased, and it will, there are sure to be some Sad Sams walking around ruing the day they failed to act quick and tie up an architectural icon.

CLICK HERE to see what the listing agent says about this property. I live in the Casa Marina area and I would love to show you this house. I think this is a most excellent buy for someone who wants a project. What an opportunity this is for a buyer with vision. Want to see this house, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. Don't wait. Don't be a Sad Sam.

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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.