Construction of high-end gated homes is under way at the entrance to Key Haven, a residential enclave about a mile from Key West with prices starting at $599,000. It comes 11 years after county leaders first approved the development agreement.
Location 3, a Key West real estate company run in part by broker Chris Belland and Realtor Nancy Swift, is pitching the waterfront homes as a chance to “build your dream home” on an island in unincorporated Monroe County named Raccoon Key. Friday, Belland through an assistant directed all questions to Swift, who was out of town and unavailable.
It’s obvious, however, from the roadside of U.S. 1 that luxury homes are on their way. The site has been scarified, leaving only a dirt lot cordoned off by plastic sheet fencing and marked by no-trespassing signs and a Location 3 company sign advertising Key Haven Estates.
Four sites were available for purchase Friday, with listings ranging from $599,000 to $799,000 and one on a half-acre lot for more than $1.4 million, according to Location 3’s website.
Belland and his colleagues, who include Ed Swift, president of Historic Tours of America in Key West, first won approval by Monroe County commissioners to develop the subdivision in 2005. That plan included 43 residential lots and two commercial tract, according to a county Planning Department report from December 2014, when the commissioners gave Key Haven Estates another extension — this one two years— in which to complete the project.
In 2005, U.S. Navy officials opposed the development, citing newly drawn maps that expanded potential aircraft noise and accident zones to include the Key Haven Estates location. At the time, a Key Haven neighborhood group was in favor of the luxury homes being built to prevent the corner site off U.S. 1 from being turned into a commercial strip.
It was unclear Friday, with Location 3 not commenting or answering questions, how many homes in all are in the works.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen