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Thursday, March 30, 2017

522 Simonton Street, Key West - Strategicallly Located Renovation Project

As March winds down to its end I am reminded of my first trip to Key West in 1984.  Back then more of the houses needed renovated than had been done.  I am an early riser and remember walking the streets of Old Town and looking at the old houses and thinking what I could do if I owned one of those old places. I fell in love with this little island town that would later become my home. I traveled back to Key West a few months later and started what would become a nine year vision quest before I finally purchased a place here. Over the following years more and more of the old houses have been purchased and renovated by all types of new owners with varying visions, skills, and budgets. Many of the formerly run down houses have won awards for excellence in renovation. Thirty-three years later there are fewer and fewer large un-renovated homes left.  522 Simonton Street is one of them.
The listing Realtor describes this property this way:
"This is one of the most historic and iconic homes in Key West. Built in the 1860's and the Key West home of Robert Watson, officer in the Confederate Army and later Confederate Navy, and his family. Watson later served briefly as mayor of Key West. There have only been two families to reside here since the home was built. The architecture is unique for Key West with a stepped facade and four separate porches on the front of the house. Perfectly sited with ample sized front and side yards and a large rear yard, there are many options including expansion, multiple off-street parking spaces, lush gardens and pool. The home requires a total renovation and is uninhabitable in its current condition. This is the perfect property for the buyer wanting to create their own architectural masterpiece."
I looked through my old shoebox and found the above black and white photo which was taken in 1965. That photo shows the clean lines of this once great house. I took the color photo immediately above from a similar angle earlier today. Trees and overgrowth obscure the old house that still exists.  While the photos may suggest this place is more grey gardens than great design, I think the original house can come back big time and that whoever buys this place will have an incredible property in the end.
When you look at the black and white photo you will notice the large two story addition to the right. First and second floor porches were added to the side addition after the 1965 photo was taken. Today those porches are in disrepair. The front porch on the original house is in equally bad disrepair. Issues like these are to be expected. The original house probably has not changed much over the past fifty years or longer. The home has not been occupied for many years. It is my understanding the former owner lived on the main floor for several years before her departure several years ago.  This will definitely be a project house.
I showed this property in early January. While much of the house hearkens back to the 18th Century, the renovated property will likely be updated to early 21st Century standards and uses. I envision this house will be converted into some quasi-commercial use. This house is situated one block from Duval Street, our primary tourist destination location. The highest and best use would be a renovation to a large single family home that could be rented monthly as a vacation rental. There is off street parking off the front for at least two cars. There is a very large back yard and good-sized side yards on the south and the north. There is plenty of room for a pool, parking, and lovely gardens. 
CLICK HERE view the Key West MLS datasheet which shows this property as being a 2652 square feet home situated on a 6610 square foot lot which measures 58.5' X 113'.  Simonton Street is one of the longest streets in Key West. It begins at the Gulf of Mexico on the north and ends at the Reef Resort on the Atlantic Ocean to the south - about one mile in length. I would describe most of Simonton Street as being a transitional street. Almost all of Old Town located to the east is residential use. There are only a few single family residences that remain on this street. Most of the properties have become commercial in some respect whether converted into apartments, condominiums, guest houses or boutique hotels, or monthly vacation rental houses. There are a few single family homes which have transient rental licenses. I think any sense of "community" has long disappeared from this street. That is why I think conversion to some form of commercial use makes the most sense with this property. 

Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to set up a private showing of this historic old home with terrific Old Town location.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. 

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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.