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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

627-629 Eaton Street - Key West Historic Landmark Property For Sale

My friends at Prudential Knight and Gardner Realty in Key West recently listed one of the last untouched Old Town landmarks in Key West. Dear Readers, this property located at 627-629 Eaton Street might just be your dream property. Think I'm a little wacko?  Read on.

I searched the old Sanborn Fire Maps for Key West and found this building on the 1889 map which means it was built some time prior to that date. The Monroe County Property Appraiser's official records show the construction date as being 1929. (I think the Sanborn Map is more correct, but the official record is the official record.)  In any case, the building is ancient and has the crow's feet and wrinkles to prove it.  I dug deep into the old shoe box and found a photo taken back in 1965 shown immediately below. The back of the photo shows the downstairs as being a launderette and dentist's office. The upstairs presumably were apartments. I took a similar photo to compare the old versus current facades. I think the old girl looked a bit better back in the day, but this is one solid building which ought to respond to a keen renovation. 

 The listing Realtor describes 627-629 Eaton Street this way:
"This historic concrete block building consists of two commercial spaces downstairs and two residential units upstairs. One commercial space is empty, the other tenant is a laundromat. Each residential unit has it's own staircase and entrance. One unit is a one bedroom, one bath, the other unit is a two bedroom, one bath."
The listing Realtor shows the building as having 3627 sq ft of interior space divided between the two floors. The building sets on a rectangular lot of 2201 sq ft (55.5' X 39.67') at the corner of Eaton and Elizabeth Streets. The building itself measures 50' X 38' plus the covered ground floor walkway and second floor porch that run 50' X 38' to the east rear. The building is built literally to the rear and side lot lines. There is no room for a pool, hot tub, or parking.
The downstairs east commercial space has been a self-service laundry ever since I moved to Key West in 1993. The writing on the 1965 photo suggests that it has been a laundry for a much longer time period. The adjacent space is not currently rented which creates lots of possibilities for a new owner. There are several small ante-rooms behind both spaces. The vacant space was previously a dentist's office and most recently was rented as a floral shop.  The tropically painted wall shown below is either poured concrete or cinder block.  The listing Realtor told me the wall extends up through the second floor above and provides support for the building. I think it would be possible to merge the ground floor spaces into one larger commercial space or alternatively create a new living space in the former dentist's office. A new owner would need to obtain permission from the City of Key West to do this or merge the ground floor space into the second floor space via the adjacent stairway.
There are two apartments on the second floor. Both are currently rented under market value and both are on a month to month rental agreement.  Both tenants have been in place for some time. The tenant in the east apartment has been in the space for 20 years.  The landlord has not made any substantial improvements to this building over recent years. Below are some photos that provide a basic image of how the properties look today.
The above photos are of the west second floor apartment or the one above the former dentist's office.  One alternative for renovating this space might be to combine the first and second floor west spaces into one two story living unit. I think a new owner could do the same for the east spaces as well, but I will discuss an alternate proposal for that space below.  Part of the allure of this building is the second floor balcony which extends nine feet over the city sidewalk. Construction like this would likely not be permitted today. But since it is in place and since this is such a recognized property that it has achieved 'landmark' status, I seriously doubt anyone would consider allowing the removal of the balcony.
The east second floor apartment is filled with tenant owned pieces that make this space shine. A new owner might move some interior walls to create more modern spaces, replace the kitchen and bath, and so on. I would replace the existing metal louvers with real windows.  As an alternative to keeping this space an apartment, a new owner might consider combining the two upstairs units into one large loft type living space. The interior floor to ceiling cinder block or poured concrete wall will need to be addressed in any renovation. Almost anything is possible if you have a talented engineer, architect, designer, and money. Both the ground floor spaces and the second floor apartments have very tall ceilings. This opens all spaces to imaginative renovation possibilities not available in most existing properties.  I took more photos which you can view if you CLICK HERE. Please do so and consider what kind of new property you could create in these spaces.

627-629 Eaton Street is offered for sale at $775,000CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet. But better than looking at photos online, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this unique Key West property.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. The buyers are returning to Key West in droves. Don't miss the opportunity to create something stunning.

1 comment:

Sandman said...

If I were a young man I would think about a Real Estate office in that ground floor unit. What do you think?


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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.