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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

411 Grinnell Street, Key West - a Classic Old Town Revival Home Reinvented

Just Listed - 411 Grinnell Street in Key West which appears from the street to be a Classic Conch Revival home but which transforms into a sophisticated 21st century contemporary throughout much of the interior. The listing Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West describes this property this way:
"Meticulously restored with the highest level of craftsmanship and materials, this home will please the most discerning buyer. Located in historic old town on a double 8,375 lot, this home features every modern amenity. There are two bedrooms en suite plus a study and bonus finished 3rd floor. The dream kitchen has a Zebra wood island and Wolf, Miele, Thermador and Sub Zero appliances including built-in wine storage. Sun drenches the lap pool, cocktail pool and spa all of which are finished with iridescent blue glass tile and adorned with fire pits on either side of a glass waterfall. Off street parking for 2+ cars behind electric gates. Plans to build an adjoining home on the property are included. This is a rare treasure."
 I searched the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps and learned that 204 Grinnell Street existed as early as 1889. That property was renumbered as 411 Grinnell Street on 1892 Sanborn map. I found photos of 411 and 415 Grinnell Street which were taken in 1965 (see below).
I mentioned 411 Grinnell Street in my July 12, 2012 blog (Son of More Projects of Key West) when I posted these photos just after the property was purchased and plans to renovate were announced.
The original house at 411 Grinnell Street was thoroughly renovated from bottom to top and front to back. A new Great Room and kitchen were added at the rear. Today the property is a two bedroom two or three bath home. When you enter the home you see meticulously restored Dade County Pine walls, ceiling, and floors trimmed with crisp white wood trim, high base boards,and crown molding. But as you look closer you'll notice the old stairs were replaced with a striking glass panel and simple hand rail.  You quickly learn this is not another old house redone.
As I walked past the stairway the Great Room emerged in all its simplicity and grandeur. The rooms are painted white and provide a canvas upon which the owner creates the picture of how he or she lives in this space. Sliding impact doors open out to the covered lanai which provides a shaded sitting area on the otherwise sunny deck and pool surrounds. The pools (plural) are unlike any you've probably seen elsewhere in Key West. There is an extra long lap  pool, a cocktail pool, a spa, and  waterfall situated between twin fire pits.
Another adjacent had told me about the pool at this property several times. I sold the house next doo to the north and the house across the street. I had never been able to see the pool area from the street. So while you can see the other houses from the pool, passersby cannot see inside this area. A new owner could plant some trees for more privacy, but it is not necessary.
The guest room with en-suite bath is located on the first floor front. There is a nice little study located across from the master suite on the second floor. They didn't miss a trick in creating a sumptuous master bath. Posh would be an understatement to describe this pad. I would love to see how the former residents of this home would react to the new place. I am sure they would be amazed.
24 Hour Fitness on Caroline Street
411 Grinnell Street sits on an extra large 83.64' X 100.5' lot much of which is hidden from view from the street. There are currently three off street gated parking spaces. There are plans to construct a new 2500 square foot primary residence on the south side of the lot which convey with purchase. The current home would them become guest quaters. These plans were created by local architect Matthew Stratton. He is among the best in Key West and South Florida. If and until the new house is built, the owner of 411 Grinnell Street will enjoy the great location near the best bakery in town (the Old Town Bakery). Azur Restaurant is located upon on the corner at Fleming Street. The Eaton Street Seafood Market is a couple of blocks away where the best lobster roll in Key West is available daily. The soon to open 24 Hour Fitness is  a couple of blocks away on Caroline Street. There are numerous restaurants at the Historic Key West Seaport also located nearby.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and to view more photos of this beautiful home. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a personal visit to this incredible home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.


Anonymous said...


Seems like a fair price to me

Beautiful home indeed

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon,

I failed to mention that this property includes a ROGO unit which means a new owner can actually build the second home on this lot which is large enough to accommodate the structure.

I have had buyers who want to buy a lot in a good area of Old Town upon which to build a new house. Those lots just do not exist or if one pops up, it will cost a helluva lot of money and likely will not be located on a premium street as Grinnell. There are two vacant lots for sale in Bahama Village priced at $369,000 and $469,900. I suspect a sophisticated buyer would appreciate this location as having the opportunity for better price appreciation if and when a new house were to be built.

We all know you can't base the price per square foot on many homes in the Old Town or Casa Marina Areas. There is such an eclectic mix of housing styles and quality of construction, lot sizes,and locational differences that algorithms and price points just do not matter. Ultimately the Key West market will determine the value of this location and this house. I don't think the price per sq matters to anyone who has the money to pay the price. They are going to pay for the house and all that it has to offer.

Anonymous said...

Is this in a flood zone? We thought this area was sensitive to tropical storms- hurricanes.

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon, Many of the houses in Old Town are located in the X Zone for flood insurance purposes. This house is in the AE 500 Zone which is one step below the X Zone. All home buyers should obtain a flood elevation certificate to determine the cost of flood insurance prior to purchasing a home.

Anonymous said...

Gary, the FEMA zones are X, X500 and AE.

Howard R said...

Stunning property. Not sure I understand the space to build a second home. Would that be a guest house? Or would the existing home be a guest house? Seems so big for that. I assume the property isn't configured to sell the additional home? (I personally would go for a tennis court!!)

Gary Thomas said...

Hi Howard, The listing agent told me she will be attaching the architectural plans to the mls. The plans call for a new 2500 sq ft primary residence of three bedrooms. The existing house would become the guest house.
The fourth photo above shows the original house that was located on 415 Grinnell St. That house was not a contributing structure and was allowed to be razed. That lot was then merged into 411 Grinnell St. Since there was a house on this space, the ROGO lot (right to build a new structure) remains with the lot. Of course the plans will need to be approved by HARC and Planning, but I suspect that will be perfunctory. Matthew Stratton drew the plans and knows what he is doing. Period!
Sorry, I doubt there is room for a pool.

Anonymous said...


I understand why you keep deleting my posts. I'd probably do the same if I were you. We both know the truth here. Have you actually seen these plans with your own two eyes. Might wanna take a peek.

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon, I have repeatedly deleted all posts that provide negative comments on properties that I have written about. A prominent listing realtor demanded that I delete a blog which had great write up by me and great photos of a stunning property because a reader had to make negative comments. The agent was so angry at me that she forbade me from writing about any of her listings. She said it was incumbent on me to not write or let anyone else write anything negative about a property. So that is what I have done. Your repeated posts only copy what I wrote about the market in general but the inferred intent is to infer negatively on this property. I won't allow this. But feel free to comment in the future when I do write about the state of our market.
And look at the mls later to see if the plans are attached. They are available in our office.

Anonymous said...


Understood. I know you have to write about this home. I also know that you know the truth. Things aren't good. Now delete away.

Gary Thomas said...

Whoever you are, the truth is I don't have to write about anything.

The truth is my business is not doing as good this year as last year because much of our middle market is overpriced. And I am not the only agent in this predicament. A lot are. I will say it and write it. Others will put on a happy face.

That does not mean that this property is over priced. I believe there will be a buyer for this house and that the market will sort out what the sales price will be.

So far this year there have been four $2 million plus sales in Key West. Our office has sold two of those. There are three properties priced over $2 million under contract, one priced at $5,950,000 in Truman Annex, and one priced at $6,500,000 on Sugarloaf. My experience has been that people that can afford houses priced in this range can decide for themselves the value of their purchase. They may ask the opinion of a Realtor and maybe an appraiser, but they did not acquire the wealth to buy houses priced like this by being fools.

I think much of our middle market is way over priced. I have written several blogs about how our middle market always is the slowest to sell. The rising prices just keep moving the price point of our middle market up. Twenty two years ago the middle was around $250,000 to $500,000. Now it is $1,000,000 to $1,800,000 give or take. Low end properties and expensive "done" properties always sell.


Anonymous said...

Gary: I am reading this with much interest. Your blog is a good eye focusing on key points . It takes guts to ride it out and ride it out with unpopular opinions; so be it. I don't see anyone else putting their real estate names on a blog unless it's about happy events. And that can be stressful to reveal downturns due to the realities of over- pricing, Zika, whatever.
Keep on keeping on.
We're listening.


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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.