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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

622 Grinnell Street - Key West, Florida

If you like old houses with lots of character of have a yen to do some remodeling, the historic home at 622 Grinnell Street in Old Town Key West is a property you should consider. This place is glorious and full of charm. You won't see stainless steel appliances, marble, or granite anywhere. But you will see lots of potential everywhere.   622 Grinnell Street is listed by Preferred Properties Key West, but it is not my listing. The listing agent describes the house this way:
"Wonderful, original conch home with three legal units. Great location and superb street presence. Access to the rear cottage is from a lane.Possible conversion back to single family and would be a really spectacular property as such. Opportunity to work with a property that has been maintained while leaving a Key West flavor."
I did a quick search of the Sandborn Fire Maps and learned that 622 Grinnell Street first appeared in the 1912 edition. Prior addition was 1898 so we know it was built after 1898 and before 1912.  I found a photo of the property that was taken in 1965.  Compare that black and white photo to a photo I took last week.
The property consists of the main house on Grinnell Street and the rear (guest) cottage on Canfield Lane. The main house does not have (and may have never had) an interior staircase.  Until a few months ago sibling owners occupied the first floor, the second, and third floor. (The second and third floors were occupied by one sibling.)  The cottage has been a rental for some time. This explains the mls listing as three legal units. I have shown this property several times and have been unable to find any evidence of a prior interior staircase.  However, the house is quite large and there are a couple of alternative areas where a new staircase could be added which would then lead to the conversion into a single family residence which I believe is the highest and best use for this property.

622 Grinnell Street has 1820 sq ft of interior living space. The cottage has an additional 512 sq ft.  The house and cottage sit on a large lot on one of the quietest blocks in Old Town.  (Grinnell Street dead ends at the corner of Angela Street which is the northern boundary of the Key West cemetery.)  The value in this property is not as multi-unit income property but rather as a renovated single family home with a charming guest cottage which has room to add a pool and parking. The photos below were taken a few months back when the property was owner occupied. Tenants now occupy the property and it does not show the same.
The rooftop deck on the main house has an incredible view of the area. You can see the spires at St Mary's Basilica. Most of the lot is covered with tropical foliage and red brick pavers. The house itself has been well maintained and looks great.  Buyers who seek Dade County Pine and old glass with ripples will fall in love with this old house. There are little cubby holes and scuttles and other architectural treasures galore.
When I photographed the second floor a few months ago it almost looked like a Ralph Lauren idealized version of what a Key West home should look like.
The listing agent states that the property as a whole has 2740 sq ft of living space and sits on a 57' x 83' (4683 sq ft) lot. The house has not been touched in years and would benefit from a thorough renovation. But understand that the property is perfectly livable as is. I just think the highest and best use of this house is to make it into a single family. CLICK HERE to view a slideshow of photos I took of this property.
The 600 block of Grinnell Street is one of the quietest blocks in Old Town. That is because it ends at Angela Street which is the northern border of the Key West cemetery. That means that Conch trains, trolleys, and Duck Tour vehicles will not be using this street because they cannot traverse Angela Street. Your life will be quieter because of this. Occasionally you will still see tourists walking by or riding bikes. And you will see neighbors go across the street to use the Grinnell Street Pocket Park.

Five Brothers Grocery and Sandwich Shop is located down the block at the corner of Southard Street. The Key West Historic Seaport is located three blocks further north and Duval Street is located five blocks to the west. Most of the gyms and yoga studios are located within a five to ten minute walk.

622 Grinnell Street is offered at $1,200,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls data sheet on this property. Or better than that, 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.

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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.