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Thursday, March 13, 2014

1023 Johnson Street - Key West - Classic Casa Marina Property

Just listed by Preferred Properties Key West, that's where I work but this is not my listing, 1023 Johnson Street in the tony Casa Marina Area of Key West.  The listing Realtor describes 1023 Johnson Street as:
"Circa 1938, this architecturally appealing home is located on a coveted street and rare find in the Casa Marina. The impressive columns of the front porch are accentuated by the green expanse of the front lawn. There is a covered carport, detached garage with storage, and lovely shaded gardens. The downstairs consists of a formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen with adjoining breakfast room, a lovely screened porch, and a private study with half bath. Original architectural appointments include unusual crown molding, hardwood floors, original windows and doors. Upstairs is an expansive master suite with private bath and two large guest bedrooms with a shared bath."

The home is 2400 sq ft divided equally between first and second floors. The main level also includes the impressive two story high front porch, a portico off the west side followed by a garage at the rear, and a screened porch area off the living room.  The lot is 7500 sq ft (75' X 100').  This home and the one next door to the east are somewhat of an anomaly for the Casa Marina neighborhood where many of the homes sit behind six foot tall privacy fences. Instead, this home sits behind a wide grass lawn.  There is no fence between the front and rear areas of the lot, but there is a cinder block wall at the very rear.

When you step inside 1023 Johnson Street you are transported to a different, more grand time.  The interiors reflect an art deco style of architecture.  The house appears to have been updated in the 1970s when I suspect the walls alongside the living room fireplace were mirrored and the lime green wallpaper was added to the anteroom off the kitchen.  Touches of chrome were added here and there. Fads such as these come and go, but the timeless beauty of a great house like this never becomes passéWhile the architecture may not appeal to those who faun over historic cigar maker cottages or chic contemporary abodes, it may appeal to a buyer who wants a project property that can either be restored to its former glory or alternatively renovated into a 21st Century reinterpretation of classic design integrated with Key West casual living.  First, let's look at some photos that show what the house looks like today.
The front entry is located in the middle of the house. The spacious living room with original wood floors, unique baseboards and crown molding, fireplace open into a formal dining room. Formal dining rooms are probably a thing of the past.  I still get phone calls and emails from would-be buyers who require formal dining rooms. It seems to me a huge expenditure of money to have a room that is used once or twice a year. But, hey, it's not my money.  Just off the dining room you can see the 1970s kitchen and the laundry room behind it. The formal stairway bisects the house between formal living area and the more cosy den/office to the left where there is a half bath. There is plenty of space to expand the existing bath into a full bath and perhaps create a main level master suite should climbing the stairs ever become a challenge.
The master bedroom with en-suite bath is huge.  The two rooms must be over 500 sq ft.  The plastered walls and massive size are just begging to converted into something smaller and more intimate in my opinion.  A new owner might add French doors at the rear.  Perhaps the current TV area could be transformed by adding book shelves for placement of a flat panel TV, books, and objet de art.
Two guest bedrooms occupy the west half of the upstairs and share one bath.  I have many rooms such as these transformed into neat nesting areas.
Twin doors on either side of the fireplace open out to a screened side porch that, again, provides a quite formal outdoor sitting area. A screened door then opens out to the backyard which currently is dominated by a huge tree and a wood deck. The original garage and an anteroom complete the backyard area.

I can envision removing the giant tree and clearing the space for the creation of a new rear yard, deck, and pool. I would convert the garage into a pool house with wet bar.  I would create a first and second floor rear porches with French doors opening from the current dining room, master bedroom and north guest bedroom. The back yard is quite large and could accommodate both the porches and new pool and I would retain the portico but eliminate the remaining car path to the garage. A new fence and landscaping would be added. The formality of the house as it exists today would be transformed by integrating the inside with the outside.

The rigidness of the interiors could be softened.  The architectural elements need not be eliminated. They ought to become accents to the newly invigorated house where the interior and exterior spaces become shared.  Key West's wonderful weather is one of the reasons we live here.  Opening the spaces for shared uses will make this house a much better home in the future. CLICK HERE to view a lot of photos I took of this property. Formulate your own plan as to what you might do with this home.

1023 Johnson Street is located two blocks from the Casa Marina Resort and Higg's Beach. Homes on the three block stretch from White to Reynolds Street are "pricey" to "very pricey".  Money you spend on this location will be repaid in years to come. But for today the location and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Higg's Beach are reasons enough to consider buying this home. 

The new Preferred Properties listing at 1023 Johnson Street is offered at $1,495,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-744-2642 to schedule a private showing of this home. 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...

You should blog about that sweet new listing on Von Phister:-)


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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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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.