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Sunday, August 19, 2012

411 William Street #12 - The Island City House - Key West


I had not been inside the Island City House for about 25 years until this past week when I showed the Transiently Licensed Condo located at 411 William Street (#12) that is listed for sale at $389,000.  Twenty five years ago I looked at buying the whole complex. I must now sadly add this entire property to the list of properties I turned my nose up at and lived to regret not having purchased.  That list includes the Q Rooms which is now the Marquesa Hotel.  Alas, there are more examples of poor choices I made.

The Island City House is an assemblage of old Key West buildings that were joined to create a hotel that later became a prospective condominium complex.  I dug out the old shoe box and found some ancient photos that show the properties at 411 William Street, 808 Eaton Street, and interior three story building recessed deep into the lot around which are some smaller cottages and the large and sunny pool.
411 William Street as it appeared in 1913
411 William Street as it appeared in 1941
During renovation
808 Eaton Street photographed by the WPA in the 1930s
808 Eaton Street as it appeared in 1965
808 Eaton Street as it appeared in 1970 during renovation
808 Eaton Street August 2012
The properties were built around 1889 and were converted into condominiums in 2005.  Only four the units actually sold. The developer retained the other units and continues to manage the entire complex as the Island City Hotel. Unit #12 is managed this way. Income records are available by prospective buyers.

Private Deck
Unit #12 is located at the tippy top of the interior unit located at the back of the complex. It is accessed via gate at the rear of the pool and a three story private staircase.  The one bedroom unit has 443 sq ft of living space divided between the good sized bedroom, bath, and living area that has French doors that open out onto the private deck that overlooks the pool below which offers commanding views of the complex.  The place is as clean as a whistle and is totally relaxing.  It does not seem like a "hotel room" but instead like a cabin in the sky.  But since it has a valuable Key West transient license, the owner can rent this condo and make money on it all year long.See the end note in the listing Realtor's description:
"Beautiful, income producing, hotel condominium for sale in the Island City House Hotel. Transient licensed 1 bedroom and 1 bath condo in a beautiful enclave of 3 historic buildings in the heart of Old Town. This unit overlooks the pool from your own private balcony. Community pool, lush tropical landscaping with winding brick pathways, sun deck and in-house management. This is the total package for an income producing rental and/or your own pied-a-terre. The unit owner is allowed a maximum of 90 days per year personal stays in the property."

I learned that the building at 411 William Street has a clothing optional rooftop sundeck. I did not go up there, so there are no pics.  Nevertheless, it is nice to know that you can get an all around tan if you so choose.  The pool and deck at ground level are just as inviting (and probably more refreshing to your skin) since you can take a nice dip to cool off under our wonderful sun.

Frequent readers know the value of location. This place has one of the premiere locations in all of Old Town. This block of William Street boasts some of the finest older homes in Key West including the B.P. Roberts House across the street. He's the one with headstone in our cemetery that reads "I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK". The Historic Key West Seaport is a short two block walk to the north. Duval Street is three blocks to the west. And there are numerous great restaurants and specialty food shops like the Eaton Street Seafood Market in the neighborhood. Vacationers will eat up the location for its historic charm and convenience. 


CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet on unit #12. The condo association does charge a monthly fee of $346 which covers Cable, Trash Removal, Building Exterior Maintenance, Building Insurance, Common Area Maintenance, and Pool Maintenance.

CLICK HERE to view more historic photos plus current photos of the complex. If you would like to see this property or any other property in Key West, please call 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.  Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...



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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.