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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Key West - Casa Marina Area - Development Parcel

X marks the location of 1426 Reynolds Street in this old time aerial photo post card

1426 Reynolds Street Key West

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."
Photo shows the lot as it fronts on Waddell Avenue across from the Casa Marina Resort

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.

November 1962

December 2010

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 I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida.


Anonymous said...

We recently moved to this area and love it. It's quiet, but with enough foot/bike traffic to keep things interesting (people going to/from the Casa Marina and beaches). Plus, from that lot, you'd be able to see the beach from your front/side yard.

Unfortunately, the private tennis courts for Casa Marina guests are gone -- they expanded the parking lot.

It will be fun to see what eventually becomes of this great space.

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon, You are right.I drove past the former tennis courts. I edited the post accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Incredible weather this week is cold. It has gotten much colder for a much longer period of time in the last few years and it has started earlier and earlier. We are due for another cold front again this weekend. La Nina effect so they say but when the east coast is cold it seems we are too. I never thought I would need my coats and sweaters and long pants again but when I am breaking out the gloves and hats, it gets a little too much for my thin blood. Remember - we are NOT tropical - just a degree or too shy and considered sub-tropical by weather forecaster standards. We will always have cool days and even cooler nights (Hey, we have been in the upper 40's already this year). Plan accordingly. Remember not to give away that jacket or pants or even blankets and slippers. You will need them in Key West. And every year I seem to be wearing them for longer periods of time. And I am from the North originally but the winds blowing over water make this place just too darn chilly!

Gary Thomas said...

Re above comment: Yep it has been cold. I can't disagree. But it was absolutely wonderful yesterday.

Last week I got a phone call from a former buyer who later sold (at a huge profit). He wants to come back and buy again, but this time stay here. He lives up north near Canada. He was talking about all the snow and cold. He was aching to leave the frozen north.


Anonymous said...

As a Canadian myself and now a resident part time in Key West, I appreciate his desire to leave the frozen tundra but please note that many of us like a little change in seasons and the cooler weather here in Key West has been quite a nice change of pace. It gets dreadfully hot so much of the year that a little nip in the air is lovely.

Anonymous said...

I see this plot of land has sold and already has an orange fence around it. I will be curious to see if it becomes a grand residence or a convenience store!

Gary Thomas said...

I was told it will be a single family house. No commercial allowed!!!


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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.