Monday, August 22, 2016

Stock Island Hotel

This was then, at Oceanside Marina:
In 2013 local developer Pritam Singh bought Oceanside Marina from the bank after a local company called Cortex blew up taking several notable quasi-developments with it. Singh told the paper he paid five million for the marina and in 2013 had plans to spend 25 million upgrading the docks.
From the Key West Citizen, June 13, 2013, an interview Pritam Singh gave:
Rows of boat slips will remain untouched, as the slips were sold to individual owners. Singh said he purchased 8 acres of upland and 4 acres of bay bottom.
He has been working with Monroe County planning staff for the past several months to determine how much development can occur there. But he added that he plans to keep it a sportfishing marina.
"The saying is, 'The legend is back,'" Singh said. "It's beautiful. It's an extraordinary site."
Singh called Stock Island an up-and-coming community with a lot of potential. He cited the success of restaurateur Bobby Mongelli, who owns Hogfish Bar Grill and Roostica on Stock Island.
He also referenced the changes being made on Shrimp Road, on the other side of Safe Harbor, by the owners of Stock Island Marina Village, who have built a dog park and community garden on their property, extended their piers and are looking at building a hotel on Safe Harbor.
"Stock Island is great," Singh said. "It is fabulous."   
That was in 2013 according to the Citizen newspaper. This is now, fabulous or not here comes development:
The old Hickory House restaurant, sold in a  sweetheart deal to Monroe County for several times its true worth is gone. Singh bought it from the county for its true value and the county lost millions. 
Like they say, paradise paved over and a parking lot built:
 Perhaps it wasn't exactly paradise but it had a funky air that somehow appealed, even after the county fenced off the docks as being too dangerous for human consumption:
Now  we are told a hotel in the inimitable "Key West style" is starting to appear where the engine shops at Oceanside marina used to be:
One can only suppose it will end up looking like an extension of Truman Annex. Yesterday:
And today:
 The marina is still functioning behind the construction. Today:
As has been pointed out to me anyone who rents an expensive resort hotel room here, a couple of miles away from the city of Key West, has a pretty gnarly drive to get through Stock Island. There is not much that's quaint here unless run down trailers and actual commercial fishing rates as "quaint."
There is a lot of light industry on Stock Island including of course all the services that maintain fishing and recreational boats. There are the services that keep the city going, plumbing, iron works, plumbers and so on. None it could be considered scenic or tourist friendly. 
The main road to US Highway One is Maloney Avenue  and its pretty working class.
I just don't know how long this worker housing, old trailers, can last as the development juggernaut finally gets into high gear. It's where housekeepers, waiters, shop clerks and boat captains can afford to live. I envision a future where workers will be imported and housed in dormitories. 
Maloney could use a smooth coat of pavement to get rid of the absurd dips and weaves in the surface currently. And if the plan to draw tourists works that is sure to happen after years of neglect.
The construction at the end of Maloney Avenue is making real the plans and warnings issued repeatedly over the past few years.
Development isn't coming to Stock Island; it's here.


CJ said...

Surprised they haven't made an allowable exception for high rise apartments on Stock Island. Where else can they cram-jam the real working engine of Key West?

Certainly not Key West itself.

Unlike other areas of the country with limited availability of affordable housing, there is nowhere to build here...but up. I'm not for it, just surprised it hasn't been done.

Cees Klumper said...

One can also build 'out', ie add land (spoken by a Dutch person). There is limitless land out there.

Conchscooter said...

There is a surprising amount of build able land in Key West. Not if it for anything approaching "affordable." Up soon on this page: Simonton Street luxury town homes. $1.5 to $1.75 million each.

Anonymous said...

I was living at Oceanside when this son of a bitch took over. First thing he said, no live aboards, despite the many dock owners who lived at their slips. It took 2 years but as of 2016 he managed to evict them. Just shows you can own a home but if somebody has the power, you can't live in it.

He bought this place to bring in big boats who can make the run to Havana as Cuba opens up. Rumor had it he wanted to add in a seaplane port but being between the airport and the Navy base, that got shot down.

Beware of this man. He is the ultimate con artist with no taste in architecture. His developments look like they were built using materials from the bargain bin at Home Depot. With all the charm of a 1950's army barracks. He will say whatever you want to hear and do whatever he wants. The city and county just bend over for him.

Stock Island could use some cleaning up but not at the expense of affordable housing. Unfortunately it's what is happening there. No room for the non rich folks. Glad I don't live there anymore.