Key West is a small island city located at the very end of the Florida Keys. State law restricts the construction of new houses under the Rate of Growth Ordinance (ROGO) in all of the Florida Keys as a part of hurricane evacuation plan. The fact is that Key West, like the other Keys, has a finite amount of land in general and a very limited amount of buildable lots in particular. The City of Key West has its own restrictive ordinances that limit the size, height, and density of new housing when space and ROGO units are available. It is for this reason that much of the construction in Key West is renovation as opposed to new construction.
Today's blog is an update of a series of blogs I have written about the Projects of Key West. I have written about some of today's houses before while others are new. I have even included some commercial spaces that are new or that are being remodeled.
On October 27,2007 the Key West Citizen reported the house at 730 United Street was heavily damaged by fire caused by someone smoking in bed. The house sat abandoned for nearly five years. Earlier this year renovation and expansion began.
A bank owned house at 1021 Fleming Street that was listed at just $321,750 had ten cash offers higher than asking price and sold for $400,000 in 2010. I wrote an offer for one buyer. He bid too low. Dang it! Look at what is happening now. This is still a work in progress. The general contractor built a new house from ground up for a buyer of mine. She told me she had worked with numerous contractors on several houses over the years. She said he was the best contractor she had ever worked with.
A former cigar maker's cottage in the 400 block of Virginia Street is getting a redo by a local duo who have revamped several Key West properties. I remember showing this house several years ago when it was vacant. I told prospective buyers that the location just off Duval Street would make it a great vacation rental and I told them the extra large lot allowed plenty of room for a pool. We will check back later to see how this turns out. I am expecting nothing less than Key West Charm!
During the past couple of years I wrote about the really charming house at 821 Southard Street. The house was priced a bit high and it did not have a pool. Those two factors dissuaded a lot of potential buyers from making the move to buy this classic Key West home. One smart buyer succumed to the beauty of the place and is now in the process of doing some tree trimming, cosmetic repairs to the facade, and I understand will be adding a pool in the very near future.
|This room had a function toilet in it with no walls! Right off the kitchen!|
|405 Olivia St in 1965|
|Pool has been added|
522 Grinnell Street had been gutted on the inside. The very tall ceilings, ancient crown moldings, and simple but elegant architectural detail remained in tact on the inside. A decrepit old addition at the rear was removed and an out building and garage were torn down. The remaining rear lot left room for a new first and second story porch at the rear. There is plenty of room for a pool. The listing expired the the owner renewed construction on the house.
A few years ago the mixed use building at 927 Eaton Street suffered a fire. The place was repaired. The building was never a "looker". In recent times the building started to show signs age (we all do, if we live long enough). In August I noticed a construction sign go up and knew a make-over at minimum was going to occur.
Friends and fans of the Green Parrot Bar may be please to learn that the next door neighbor Boalu's looks like it is history and replaced by a newly built Charlie Mac's smokehouse. I was amazed at how quickly the old building was torn down and the new building was constructed. Granted the construction of the new building is simple, but the simplest buildings normally take forever and ever to get built in Key West.
Charlie Mac's is now open. I walked down the parking lot to snap a pic of the smokehouse. It was smoking up something might tempting this morning.
Many potential buyers in Key West see old houses and say they would prefer to tear down some of the old places and build new. That is not normally allowed in Old Town because of HARC (Historic Architectural Review Commission) guidelines. Exceptions are sometimes made for non-contributing structures. Such appears to be the case for the former house located at 710 Windsor Lane shown below.
Finally, there are actually several new houses being built near the Casa Marina area that are affordably priced. Each house has three bedrooms, three baths, a pool, off street parking, and all new construction with about 1311 sq ft of interior living space priced in t e low $600s. These houses compare in price to some condos and townhomes in the Truman Annex, but these are single family homes with substantially more living space and a private pool.
If you are looking to purchase a new house in Key West or buy a place that needs some work, please consider contacting me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.