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Thursday, April 17, 2014

1711 Atlantic Boulevard Key West, Florida - A Conundrum

The Mid Century Modern home at 1711 Atlantic Boulevard in Key West, Florida presents a bit of conundrum to a potential new buyer.  The house was built in 1958.  It is a bit different from most Key West homes of that era in that it is actually built with real bricks whereas most Key West houses were built with concrete blocks (or poured concrete) with stucco finish. Click GOOGLE MAP for a view of this home. The house is within walking distance to the beaches.
The house sits behind an impressive yard marked CBS wall with iron entry and driveway gates. The yard rises five feet above the street grade. The grade carries to the back of the property where it gently slopes to the rear.  The yard itself sits higher than any of its neighbors.
If you are old enough to have grown up in the 1950s or 1960s you will recall that our economy and social outlook were pretty buoyant. In the 50s young men had returned from serving in the military after World War II. America was building new homes at a feverish pace.  The houses were noted for their simplicity in design and construction. These new houses were contrary to the often more intricate Victorian style homes and the less ornate bungalows years earlier.  In the 1960s the more simple boxes opened up a bit more when walls of glass replaced brick walls. Spaces and uses evolved. One purpose rooms were still pretty much the norm, but at least the doors were removed between kitchen, dining, and living areas.

1711 Atlantic Boulevard is noted for its rectangular look in both the house, windows, and public rooms. There are no square windows or rooms. There is but one one arch in the kitchen. 
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According to the Monroe County Property Appraiser this house has 1802 sq ft of living space. However, it looks like a doorway between the main house and the Florida room was removed which  expanded the real living area by an additional 288 sq ft. There is another room with 121 sq ft of space on the side that provides interior storage. So the actual square footage of usable square feet is much larger than one would see by viewing the public record.

The existing house embodies the a spaces, usage, materials, and style are of another era.  And that is the conundrum - whether to spend money to renovate and bring this fairly good sized house into the 21st Century, or to do a retro restoration, or whether to tear down this house and build new.

The house sits on a large 8050 (70' X 111') square foot lot across from the City of Key West Nature Preserve. The great Atlantic Ocean is on the far side of the Nature Preserve. The views from the front porch (or perhaps a new second floor balcony or bedroom) will never be replaced by condos or any other development.  Several of the neighboring properties have expanded into two story homes.

Since this location is outside the historic district, the city will be less intrusive as to what a new owner could do with the property.  That suggest renovation costs should be less expensive if either a renovation or restoration project was chosen. New construction would allow the owner to create whatever he or she wants as long as it meets building code requirements. I could envision a new two story house on this prime lot.  I think the second floor would have at least a partial ocean view.
No matter whether the house is updated or if a new house would be built, the tiled backyard (as lovely as it is) probably needs to go away. There is an existing gazebo type structure on the east side with which has a non functioning spa.  A quite large storage building sits at the back of the lot. I would estimate the building is 15' X 15'.  The building is grandfathered in place. It could not be rebuilt because set backs nor could it be converted into a full time living space with kitchen.   A new owner might want to convert this building into a poolside cabana or pool house.  Once the tile and unnecessary trees and foliage are removed, there is plenty of room for a good sized pool and new landscaping.

I think 1711 Atlantic Boulevard offers three intriguing possibilities for a potential new owner. The good thing is a new owner could introduce wind impact resistant windows and doors in any of the three scenarios. If a new house was built the owner could do something very creative with the look of the house that might start a trend to redevelop properties with more flare. That is the kind thing that spurs prices upwards in my view. Creativity and novelty in design and construction often pay off in big dollar returns for the builder/developer.

CLICK HERE to view the Key Wst mls datasheet on this intriguing property that is listed by Preferred Properties Key West, that is where I work but this is not my listing. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule an appointment to see this property. 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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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.