A week ago I wrote about my buyers who had made very reasonable cash offers on two different Casa Marina area properties whose owners rebuffed the offers like miserly Grinches. My buyers decided to buy a lot and build new instead. And that got me thinking that there may be other buyers out there that know what they want and who may be interested in building their own dream home in Key West.
The photo below shows the newly built pool and gardens at the house my buyers built to defy the Grinches. (The garden is just a couple of weeks old. I kid you not.) There are several building projects under way right now but not as many as I have previously seen. It made me think a new owner might be able to build a new house on the 1426 Reynolds Street lot for a good price in this market.
Key West has a lot of very positive things about it as a place to live: normally incredible weather (not this week), great people (mostly), a harmonious place to live (always). What we don't have is land to grow, to expand. The State of Florida has imposed rate of growth regulations on all of Monroe County and that includes Key West. Those regulations limit the number to actual new housing units. In addition to setting standards for new construction and renovation), our building code regulates the density of all construction (renovation as well as new). And we have a height limitation so you won't see Skyscrapers in Paradise. It ain't ever gonna happen.
We get new construction by re-using old land. Old land in Key West normally includes building rights (retained from a prior usage), sewer and water connections already in place at the site, and electric service. That means an owner who has a set of architect drawn building plans can move rather quickly to getting building approval. If the lot is located in Old Town, the Meadows, or some parts of the Casa Marina area, HARC approval will probably be required as well. Good architects normally get plans approved without a lot of trouble if they follow the rules. Innovative plans can also make it through the process. I never say 'always' and I always say 'never' because good architects and good real estate attorneys have a way of getting things done.
1426 Reynolds Street is located a little over two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean in the Casa Marina area of Key West. This corner lot property happens to be a really big and a very vacant lot. There used to be a house on the lot and that makes the lot 'buildable' since the City of Key West recognizes the right to build a new house at that location. (There were two individual lots with one house on each lot. Both houses were razed.) One building right (ROGO) is offered at the asking price of $1,150,000 for the consolidated larger lot. Or the lots and building rights can be purchased separately.
The listing Realtor describes 1426 Reynolds Street this way:
"A rare find. A large double lot in the highly desirable Casa Marina area, close to the beaches and Old Town. The price includes 1 ROGO and conceptual architectural drawings for a 4 bedroom conch style home. HARC approved. The lot is zoned for 2 homes; 2nd ROGO is available at additional cost."
The Casa Marina Resort is located a block further to the south. The block in between has always been a buffer between the hotel and homes in the area. I found an old time photo that shows the that block as it appeared shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis in November, 1962 when President John F. Kennedy came to Key West to inspect the American military that had been positioned in Key West in preparation of military objectives the US might have pursued. I took the photo just underneath looking in the same general direction a today. The building on the right is now the Fitness Center CLICK TO VIEW for the resort. The remaining area is an enclosed parking lot for hotel guests. The entire block is landscaped and still acts as a buffer between the hotel and private homes.
The Atlantic Ocean is a little over two blocks directly south of the property. Higg's Beach is located there and there are public tennis courts opposite the beach. Monroe County maintains another beach adjacent to the East. This section of beaches is where the annual July 4th and New Year's Eve fireworks displays occur. Smather's Beach is about a mile east and it is maintained by the State of Florida. Government in action!
The lot at 1426 Reynolds Street itself is very large by Key West standards. The public records show the lot is 100' wide by 115' deep. The public records show the rear "alley" was vacated and now belongs to this building lot which makes the entire lot buildable (subject to building code). The County Property appraiser shows the lot square footage as 11,612.50 which is at variance with the lot measurements the same county appraiser shows. (Go figure.)
The Key West is ripe for buyers capable of making deals happen. In a couple of days lots of potential buyers will start to arrive in Key West looking for bargains. Building a new house is not an alternative that appeals to most potential buyers but for those who are open to the concept, it is an option worth exploring. CLICK HERE to review the 1426 Reynolds Street mls datasheet.
If you are thinking about buying a place in Key West, please consider working with me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida.