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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Just SOLD - 400 - 408 Duval Street - Old Town - Key West

Locals woke up this morning to the news of the sale of the 400 to 408 block of Duval Street as being sold for a whopping $19,130,000.  I heard about the sale on Thursday morning as I was working in my yard. The Selling Realtor was Mitzi Krabill of Truman and Company. She procured the buyer who just happens to be my next door neighbor. Mitzi told me that Claude Gardner at Prudential Knight and Gardner Realty was the listing agent. The property had not been listed in the mls so the sale came as quite a shock to me. A good shock, however. The sale was posted in the mls later that day.

I mention this sale to would-be buyers who continue to sit on the fence and whine and moan about the state of the economy.  The doomsayers want everyone to believe the whole American economy is in turmoil. There are a lot of unemployed people in many areas of our country.  But there are eight or nine times more people employed than there are people not working.  And those people are driving our economy and buying things and using things. At the higher side of that group of Americans are people like those reading my little blog. They are making money or have saved money to buy a place in their retirement years. They either own a second of third home in some destination location or they are thinking of buying one. It is to that group that I submit the thesis that now is a good time to buy in Key West.

A couple of years ago Key West faced the prospect of economic "ruin" if oil from the BP oil spill hit our beautiful coral reef and landed on our shores.  Buyers got frightened by the continual banter in the press about doom and gloom. Negative talk can really upset a market.  Assume for argument sake that what I suggest is true: some people stir up trouble just so they can buy assets at a lower price. Some buyers balked and even walked away from contracts because they feared the prospect of ruin if the oil hit Key West.   The oil slick did not hit Key West. But the fear mongers did their job and scarred the beejeezus out of a lot of people. Other buyers took advantage of the situation and made out like bandits by buying assets at truly depressed prices.

I view the sale of the Duval Street property as a very positive vote of confidence in the economic vitality of Key West.  The hotels, motels, and guest houses had their best year ever last year. People from all over the world come to Key West for a day, a week, or longer. They come to experience life a lot less directed than it is where they come from. They come here most return year after year. They come here to eat, drink, party, and other really fun things.  Key West has an exotic feel and wonderful weather. But it is located in the United States and Americans don't have to go through customs or worry about the government nationalizing their property.

Real estate in Key West is scarce and scarcity usually drives prices higher. We have a limitation on new growth and development. We have a height restrictions and density limitations on any new or remodeled properties.  Developers cannot do here what they can do in places like Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Sarasota, Pensacola and other beach locales.  Besides that, those places have big highways, tons of people, and end up on shows like COPS. 

If you are thinking of buying a small getaway place, a full time home, or maybe a business in Key West and are not working with someone, please consider contacting me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.


Anonymous said...

Good news that it sold, but honestly I have to wonder if the buyer is drunk, high or both! $19.1M?! They could have bought half the properties for sale on Duval Street and STILL had money left over.

Anonymous said...

The property is bigger than it might initially appear. It includes the Tropic Theater on Eaton St. The Citizen indicates the property is 35,000 square ft. That works out to about $545 per sq ft. That seems reasonable to me given the location and the condition of the property.

Anonymous said...

For the silly guy who thinks the price is ridiculous, the same property sold for about 18 million seven years ago. Looks like a good price to me.

Anonymous said...

For the sillier guy who doesn't realize that prices were at all time highs seven years ago and the $18M price was incredibly inflated then, to have this sell for $19M in today's market is ridiculous. The seller's got a GREAT deal. The buyer? Not so much. There is something to be said for having that much space and also the historic Tropic, but the price is absolutely inflated.

Anonymous said...

Whatn none of you know is the lease situation. Long term? Above market rent? Credit tenant? Gary well knows that there are different approaches to value in the commercial context- not just "comps".

Until you know the numbers, you don't know anything.

Anonymous said...

Of course this property is not going just off comps... there is little up to date to go off! I highly doubt the rates are above market. Long term? Perhaps. Credit tenants? Doubtful. Chicos isn't enough to really qualify, IMO. If anything I think there's more to the sale than meets the eye.

Anonymous said...

Real estate prices are determined by buyers and sellers. It is silly to say an "all time high" price cannot be surpassed - it just was, on this property. Of course the tenant list and rent roll are considerations but we were discussing the base price and it looks fair to me.

Anonymous said...

If it looks fair to you that's fine. IMO it's not only outrageously high, but I think anyone that would buy it is crazy. There's a lot better quality and prices on the island. Personal opinion, I guess.


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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.