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Monday, August 29, 2011

400 Simonton Street - Key West Investment Property

400 Simonton Street as it appeared in 1965
400 Simonton Street as it appears in August 2011
Just listed, but not be me, 400 Simonton Street in Old Town Key West. According to the Monroe County Appraiser this landmark building was built circa 1889. See the black and white photo which shows how this property looked back in 1965. That's nearly half a century ago. My God, I graduated from high school that year. Compare it to the color photo below. The property has had various uses over the years. And now it is offered for sale. The listing broker describes this property like this:
"High curb appeal, landmark architecture located on the prominent and convenient corner of Simonton and Eaton Streets in downtown Key West, FL (only 1 block from Duval St.) 1920's design, 3 stories with commanding porches, Dade County Pine, 12 ft ceilings, grand interior staircase, fire monitoring system, balconies, lovely bricked courtyard, iron entry gate, fountain & tropical landscaping. 6 residential, non-transient units, 6 electric meters with onsite manager. Zoned Mixed Use. Formerly Meyer's Place of Key West and also a restaurant. See MLS supplement for unit configurations, rental amounts, and other pertinent information. This historic Old Town Key West investment property has much to offer and has been well maintained."

I considered buying this property and The Artist House (located next door at 534 Eaton Street) when the owner at that time was tinkering with the idea of selling both. That owner had been renting rooms at 400 Simonton Street as part of the guest house. I don't know if he ever got caught because that is not permitted. That owner sold both properties to different people and The Artist House has sold at least twice since then. Today the property at 400 Simonton Street is licensed to rent six non-transient long term rentals.

I took a couple of not-so-good photos of the bricked courtyard and was reminded that the area was previously used as a small cafe. I think that space is quite lovely but very under utilized today.

The bricked courtyard

I did a Google search which resulted in an ad in The New Yorker in 1982. A real estate company had its office at that location back then.

Commanding presence at a key location

The building itself looks to be in very good shape. Compare the way the building looked in 1965 to its appearance in 2011. It is virtually the same. Even the exterior stairs between the floors is visible. According to the mls listing this building has 4078 sq ft of living space located on a 4200 sq ft lot (42'x100') at the corner of Eaton Street and Simonton Street

400 Simonton Street is offered at $1,699,000 or $417 per sq ft. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and to view listing photos. This property is zoned HNC-1 which is short for Historic Neighborhood Commercial-1. Uses for this zoning include include residential (including single family, duplex, and multi-family) and limited commercial including professional offices, banking and financial services, personal service shops, specialty shops, limited retail, transient accommodations and guest cottages. Rather than rely on what I write, do your own investigation to determine suitability for the use you intend. CLICK HERE to read the City of Key West zoning ordinances and consult with your own attorney. Just because some use may be permissible does not mean you will necessarily be able to do what you want.

If you would like to see 400 Simonton Street or any other property in Key West, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West.

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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.