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Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Like Ike ! Key West Waterfront

716 Eisenhower Drive #6 Pictured above

Key West is famous for renaming its streets to honor former Presdients. Located at the water's edge at the Garrison Bight the former North Beach Road was renamed Eisenhower Drive. Read "The Streets of Key West: a History Through Street Names" By J. Wills Burke for a colorful description of how many of Key West streets got their names. Of Eisenhower Drive, Burke writes "From Palm [Eaton] to Truman, Eisenhower Drive runs a straight line along the shore of the Garrison Bight. Burke wrote "His name sums up the man. Dwight D.Eisenhower's boyhood nickname, Ike, stayed with him throughout his life. It reflects an affability that put everyone in his presence at ease, and it lent itself readily to the "I Like Ike" campaign slogan that helped him get elected twice... Like the man, his namesake street is direct and unambiguous."

716 Eisenhower Drive Unit # 6 in the Paradise Harbor Condominium is very "likable". In fact when I recently showed it my potential buyers stayed much longer than expected. We first looked at the developer's unit in the adjacent building. After seeing that unit, they wanted to leave. I convinced them to stay since the listing Realtor had taken his time to show this property. Big enclosed garage and storage plus a private elevator to all four floors was the same as next door. But that was the end of the similarities.

Each floor and each room of this very special place was designed for easy and comfortable Key West living. This place has no pretense, yet it is so very special. You know from the get-go that the place was designed and outfitted with the very best materials. Everything works. There is no hodge podge and no skimping.

The living space is on the second floor which includes kitchen, dining and living room. Sliding doors on the east open onto the balcony overlooking Garrison Bight. Another set of sliders on the opposite wall provide protected views to the west. The semi hi tech kitchen is separated by a comfortable island. Sitting in the tall bar stools I just imagined what a great party place this could be. We walked outside and looked at the boats bobbing up and down in the water. Yes, the Palm Avenue bridge is busy in the daytime. But at night the traffic is minimal. The doors are all hurricane impact resistant rated. You can't hear a peep inside the home.

Living area over looks the Garrison Bight Marina

Party Central or Divine Cuisine?

The Chef's Table de Cuisine

Floor three has two good sized bedrooms and each has an ensuite bath. Both bedrooms have separate balconies with one overlooking the water and the opposite toward the city. The fourth floor is the master suite. The ceiling is vaulted (like in some of the great Old Town homes) so the sense of old Key West is not lost in this 21st Century waterfront townhome. Imagine waking up in the morning with sunrise views across the Bight and walking to the private elevator to take you down to the second floor for your morning coffee. The stairway works just as well.

Remember this property also includes a private boatslip. After that morning cup of coffee you can go out to your boat and enjoy the waters of Key West.

Checkout the mls info and listing photos CLICK HERE. The architect owner over-indulged on this space. It will make you want to have one just as nice. You can. You can buy this one for $1,995,000.

CLICK HERE to see one of the two mansions across the street. And CLICK HERE to see The Meadows Townhome that I recently sold also located across the street at the corner of Petronia. I like the neighborhood.

Bedroom with west view

Bedroom with east view of the Garrison Bight Marina

Master Suite on third floor will make you green with envy

Interior stairway and private elevator take you from floor to even lovelier floor

If you would like to see this really lovely waterfront townhome, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305.294.3040. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. Our office is the exclusive Lower Florida Keys affiliate of Christie's Great Estates. Let's take a look and I bet you will say "I Like Ike !".


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, no denying that, but every unit in this development is still way overpriced.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Read the latest article in the Key West Citizen Newspaper about real estate here - an eyeopener about homes selling for less: "Key West saw the largest percentage drop in the average home sale price -- declining 18 percent". And most homes far less than they list: "For the past three years, that number has hovered around 87 percent". Not bad but still overpriced. And that's with the housing credit that has expired. Confident? No, I don't think so. Overoptimistic? Could be. Wait and see, just like with the oil.

Gary Thomas said...

Go back and look at my blog for July 1, 2010. I am only looking at Key West. I think the numbers are better than the Coldwell Banker report suggests.

I don't think Key West has anything in common with what goes on in Marathon or Key Largo or any place in between. People that read my blog don't want to live there. They want to be in Key West. So it is important to focus on Key West numbers.

Despite what I wrote on July 1 about lack of over million dollar home sales, we have several pending in our office. If they close, they will give a bit of a boost to the statistics. I wish we had more, but lack of sales should cause some still greedy sellers to wake up and decide a good deal for both seller and buyer is better than no deal at all.


Anonymous said...

Still, the article says and 18 per cent drop for Key West. And you know Coldwell Banker Schmidt does these stats on a regular basis for the paper. I agree it isn't Key Largo or Marathon but the stats don't lie about sale price against list price which has also dropped to a 13 percent margin between list and sold price or 87 per cent. Even the Lower Keys saw an 15 per cent drop. Is there a lot of people just waiting to see what happens? Yes, but how long will they wait?

Gary Thomas said...

Comparing prices for condos at the Salt Ponds and cracker box New Town homes to Old Town does not prove squat. People with money don't dream of moving to Key West to live in either area. Period.
Go back to what I wrote here:

Old Town price per sq ft is up for the month of June 2010 over 2009 but sales volume is down for single family houses. Condo sales volume was also down, but prices were up 9.6%. Coldwell can interpret the numbers any way it wants. So can buyers. Buyers can say hold off, wait till later. It's not safe to buy now. Let's see if the prices go lower. They may. Or they can go up. Like the trend that I have been reporting shows.

Consider this: how many other sophisticated buyers with cash are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the prices to fall before they pounce? Few buyers have the stomach for bidding wars but that is what happens when too many buyers want the same property.

" long will they wait?" If they wait too long, they can pay the market price then. It may be lower. But it could be higher.


Anonymous said...

New Town is NOT just 'cracker boxes' or Salt Ponds. And you say people DON'T move to Key West to live there?

Well, tell THAT to those who live on Riviera Drive on the canal or Flagler at the canal or Key Cove pricier homes on the WATER or Hilton Haven ON THE WATER or the newer SEASIDE new units directly ON THE WATER on South Roosevelt or La Brisa, 1800 Atlantic, Key West By the Sea, all on the edge of New Town. There are some gorgeous mid-century homes in New Town - even some prominent realtors live in New Town.

Gary, I used to like you but this is not only childish but oh so idiotic to think no one lives in New Town but in cracker houses or Salt Ponds. You prejudice and bigotry is showing big time. And to think that everyone comes to Key West to live only in Old Town is very elitist, very snobbish and very classless.

I am done with this hogwash of a blog. You have no idea of which you speak but sound like the same real estate 'it's a good time to buy' idiot realtors in town.

I expected more from you. Too bad you failed to deliver.

Gary Thomas said...

In 12 years of selliing I have only had 3 buyers who wanted to buy in mid town and new town. My buyers are looking for Old Town and Casa Marina. Maybe my reference to cracker box houses was for affect. There are lots of nice houses there and very nice people I know live in these areas. But second home buyers are not looking to buy there. That is why I think comparing housing sales in those areas (let alone the rest of the Florida Keys) with Old Town is not productive.

Sorry I lost you.


Anonymous said...

Gary, I might like to disagree sometimes about pricing on houses in Key West, but I'm still a fan. You provide interesting and helpful perspective on the community.

Anonymous said...

Many second home buyers want the one thing Old Town can never offer and that is waterfront. Msng are located on such areas as Sugarloaf, Summerland, Bay Point, Cudjoe and the like. But there are some in New Town and I know of several of these rare spots used by owners as their second and sometimes third homes. It is an untapped secret in Key West and to have a piece of paradise on Go Lane, Sunrise, Hilton Haven, Casa Roma, Riviera, or even a condo at any of several ocean or gulf side areas is like having your cake and eat it too. Close enough to avoid the crazy drunks, bar noise and awful traffic of Old Town and yet have perfect sunrise or sunset views and water access is hard to resist. Something to ponder...

Anonymous said...

We wanted to buy in Casa Marina but the numbers didn't work for us as our third home. We ended up in Midtown and it is fine, but not CM. For the money, it's been a good deal. Now if I could only get down more. When we are down to 2 houses, we'll look to make the move to CM. In my view, the question is whether the home is a good value

Anonymous said...

Now here is the question - do you believe Casa Marina is better than Mid Town? Please define the areas for us as only KWAR and the realtors know for sure. It used to be Old and New but suddenly, when real estate boomed, we have the Meadows, Mid Town north of Truman or south, and anything else they can think of with no one knowing for sure exactly what the division lines are. It used to be White Street but now, who knows? So don't read too much into what is Casa Marina or Mid Town. I bet 99 out of 100 people couldn't tell you the difference including the next buyer of your home. In Key West, we don't worry or care about such trivial ideas as it really doesn't matter at all. And yes, I know of which I speak as I have lived here all my life.

Anonymous said...

When we were looking for a second home in Key West we would only consider Old Town or Casa Marina and being on the water was never a priority. A house with character, privacy and a pool that was within walking distance (or short bike ride) to restaurants and other attractions was the goal. Nothing wrong with New Town or Mid Town, but those areas just didn't fit our criteria and are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from Old Town and Casa Marina when comparing real estate values. I think Gary is right about what the average second or third home buyer is looking for when considering Key West.

Gary Thomas said...

Boy did I stir up a hornet's nest.
Casa Marina to me is Seminary south to the ocean and White west.
Old Town is Truman to the gulf and White to Bahama Village.
Meadows is White to Eisenhower.

The area east of White is a subtle change from Casa Marina to more Mid Town houses. Some are great estates with lots of land but there are some cracker boxes in the mix (as there are in Casa as well). Some blocks are great and some are not so great. I won't mention the bad lest I get hanged.

The writer who mentioned Go Lane and Riviera Canal is right about those areas being great. But few second home buyers that I have shown properties to there can envision living there. They think of those areas as being like being where they currently live (only on water). They can't accept the long drive from there to Old Town to go to dinner or take in a play or go to a party. Up north a 30 minute drive is nothing. Here a trek from Go Lane to Duval is a commute.

There are some incredible houses in the 3800 block of Eagle. I have to twist arms to get people to consider living that far away. When I showed really nice houses at the end of Flagler on the water with great water and mangrove views, the buyers fuss about how far away it is from Old Town.

I have driven budget concious buyers past a couple of houses I am very familiar with in New Town. One is owned by a former broker that I worked years ago, I love his house, the pool, yard, everything. I couldn't get anybody that even wanted to schedule a visit even though it had everything my buyers wanted including price. Second home buyers want to be in Old Town.

And to the reader that commented about living here all of your life I would like to mention a story from last year. A husband and wife my age (born here but who moved away) were thinking of moving back. I took them to Bahama Village to drive by a couple of houses that I thought were just great buys in good locations. The man said his "Momma would never approve. She wouldn't let me cross Whitehead Street." Momma is still alive and in her nineties and lives in Key West. I guess we all have our rules about where we want to live.



Anonymous said...

Don't forget Caroline and Eaton homes that are quite nice, Old Town and if you are lucky have water views. And lets not forget Petronia and Olivia when the Truman Waterfront opens up will be in walking distance to the water. So Old Town does have some really nice waterviews and don't for Steamplant too. See, something for everyone!


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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.