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Friday, March 23, 2012

Is The Party Over?

I was walking down the street a while back and noticed a couple of Key West crazies acting out on the front porch. I picked up my camera, snapped a couple of quick pics, and ran. It occurred to me that they may have been upset by the fact that there is definitely a shortage of houses for sale in Key West. If you spend a lot of time searching the Key West mls for a house or condo to buy, you have probably seen for yourself that the inventory of available properties is definitely down. I have posted a couple of recent blogs that showed some of the projects of Key West, renovations and even some new construction properties as well. Below are some photos of current projects that may interest readers who may have missed the opportunity to buy when prices were lower and the inventory was quite large. That was then and this is now.

730 United Street - fire damaged home being rebuilt

The Key West Citizen reported on October 24,2007 that that house at 730 United Street was heavily damaged by fire caused by someone smoking in bed. The house sat abandoned for nearly five years. Within the past few weeks workers have begun the rebuilding this old Conch house.

These guys are doing a lot of work quite quickly. I often wonder why other projects take so darned long to see any progress happen.

615 Thomas Street built circa 1901. Demolished after the City Building Department Condemned the structure in 2006.

615 Thomas Street - Key West - March 2012

A couple of weeks ago I noticed substantial new construction occurring across from the gates at the Shipyard Condominiums on Thomas Street. I took the above photo on the morning of March 22, 2012. There are several large old homes in the Bahama Village area that are for sale and that have interesting buildings that could benefit from renovation. Some have parking; some have large lots; most are priced less expensively than similar houses in Old Town.

Fired damaged home August 2011

August 2011

The above house is located on a nice little Old Town lane. The property suffered severe damage last summer. Many months later the property is set for major rebuilding. Local architect Tom Pope designed the new structure that will begin to take shape once all of the debris is removed. Stayed tuned for progress reports on this most interesting Key West project.

405 Olivia Street as it appeared when it was offered for sale as a bank owned property in 2010. I got a lot of phone calls and emails on this house that sits across the street from the Ernest Hemingway House. The property eventually sold and construction has begun.

A few weeks ago

March 23, 2012


618 Grinnell Street is a classic eyebrow house undergoing total renovation

House jacked up while new piers were formed and poured

March 17, 2012 after new piers were installed and house lowered to ground

I took extensive photos of 618 Grinnell Street prior to renovation and new photos last week. I will do a periodic update and a final reveal once the work is done. This is going to be one sweet project.

A much less extensive and certainly less expensive renovation is taking place across the street. Irregardless of the cost, this smaller home will benefit from the new facade and other updates that are planned. The 600 block of Grinnell Street is one of the nicest blocks in Old Town.

Foundation being poured 900 block of Flagler Avenue

1016 James Street as photographed by the WPA in the 1930s

1016 James Street when listed for sale

1016 James Street December 2011

1016 James Street March 2012

Rear of 1016 James Street when it was still for sale - rear on Thompson Ln.

Rear of 1016 James Street December 2011

Rear 1016 James Street March 2012

I am really anxious to see what happens with this old Eyebrow house. I showed it a couple of times over the several year time period when it was listed for sale. The house had a horrible addition on the back and a little building that I told buyers could become a pool cabana. Let's see what happens here!

CLICK HERE to search the Key West Association of Realtors mls database to search for your potential new home (or project) in Paradise. Open up to the possibility of doing a little or maybe a lot of work to create your own project.

If you see something you like, please consider contacting me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or by email at I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Key West, Florida. The party isn't over till the fat lady sings.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gary,

Do you have any idea if the owners of 618 Grinnell are planning on living in the home or selling once the work is done? You are correct, that block of Grinnell is so quiet and lovely!

Gary Thomas said...

The owner of 618 Grinnell Street plans to use the house for personal enjoyment. No rentals, no re-sale, just for the fun of it.

Anonymous said...

The Captain says:

730 United never changed hands, it's the same owner from when there was the fire. I really wish, however, that the City would fix the sidewalk at that corner. A lot of people walk from the Casa Marina to Duval Street using that route.
I really like that section of United Street. While it gets its share of scooters and Conch Trains, it is heavily traveled by people on foot. Great place to watch the world go by. Also it is within walking distance to El Siboney!

Captain out................


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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.