Dec 252015
 

money houses

Friends:

Supporters of the purchase of Peary Court by the City of Key West have emphasized that ALL rental income will be used to retire the bonds issued in the purchase. That has concerned me from Day 1 because there will be significant maintenance issues over the years, particularly when you consider that the units are already 20 years old. For example, the life of a typical roof is 20 years. My home is 25 years old and I have had to remodel both the kitchen and bathrooms. I have had to put new siding on the house and a new roof as well. Suffice it to say, a home that is 20+ years old requires a lot of maintenance.

My concerns about maintenance took on a new life this weekend. In an article in Sunday’s Citizen, Manuel Castillo, “executive director of the Housing Authority of Key West and the city’s advisor on Peary Court”, stated that the city is “probably going to have to replace the appliances quickly and many of them at one time….”

When you consider that the refrigerator I purchased last month cost over $1,000 and the dishwasher that I bought in July cost $500 (plus installation), you can imagine what it is going to cost to replace appliances in all of the units at Peary Court. With 157 rental units involved, you are talking about a bill easily $200,000 and most likely much higher. From what source is the money going to come? Similarly, with maintenance costs down the road, from where is that money going to come?

These maintenance issues are issues that require much greater clarity for the voters of Key West to determine whether or not the city should purchase Peary Court.

Larry Murray

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Dr. Larry Murray
A former 60's hippie with a strong belief in capitalism, Dr. Murray obtained his Ph.D. in American History in 1970 and went on to, in his own words, ‘publish and perish,’ teaching at colleges and universities while publishing in professional journals.

Now Dr. Murray is a tireless community activist, focusing primarily on the administration of the public schools in Monroe County. Hands down, Larry has made more public records requests to the school district than anyone else – ever - something he describes as “the equivalent of pulling teeth” or, as some have put it, "herding cats".

Pushing for the best schools possible, he pokes and prods, urging the School District, as often as not, to simply follow its own rules and regulations, not do something unique and different.

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More Articles by Larry Murray prior to November, 2014.
 December 25, 2015  Posted by at 12:46 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #146  Add comments

  4 Responses to “Appliance Replacement at Peary Court”

  1. Don’t worry Larry. The Key West Housing Authority estimated budget allocates $500 a year for maintenance and the renovations. The fact that the buildings are already 20 years old and even a single line item like a replacement AC condenser and air handler will cost well over $5,000 apparently doesn’t matter. Roofs that don’t leak and appliances that actually work aren’t really necessary.

    • To expand on my earlier comment about just replacing the air conditioners, it is important to remember that the average life of an AC unit is 15-20 years. Peary Court is at the 20 year mark. Who wants to bet only a couple of the worst AC units have been replaced over the past 20 years of the Peary Court life? It will cost at least $5,000 to replace a single the AC system on a single unit. Multiply that by 157, and surprise, that is an additional $750,000+ in maintenance/replacement costs.

  2. Why do develpers keep using the term “affordable housing”? and why is this term repeated?

    These are “unaffordable – housing ” and for the city to purchase Peary Court to assist workers is defeating the purpose or rationale some commissioners explained.

    First off – A 20 million dollar profit in a two year period sends the message to developers they can make money buying and selling real estate. Every time something is bought, it is sold for more money. This has been the problem.

    If these houses don’t sell, then the price goes down. So please, city commissioners – do NOT purchase Peary Court.
    Let the developers pay for all the repairs needed, the maintanance and appliances each unit needs. Their “dumping” their problems onto the city. And any commissioner who votes to support the purchase of Peary Court is just putting on a debt to the city and citizens that will get us in trouble. Interest rates are going up.

  3. Had experience with two AC units at the Truman Annex going bad . A crappy installation and I hope the ones installed twenty years ago at Peary Court weren’t done by the same company, but they’re still suspect and probably low SEER efficiency units that will need replacement. Maybe the City should just give a bunch of money to Balfour Beatty to ” renovate” those 166 vacant units on Sigsbee since a lot of their people will be eligible for the City’s housing at Peary Court anyway. That might be cheaper by many millions with the same housing gain. Balfour Beatty would love that additional windfall. Maybe it’s better to keep that property on the tax rolls and try building NEW on property the City already owns, or maybe the Navy should have kept it as it was since they’re now complaining about THEIR housing shortage and impacting the City’s problem with their people wanting civilian housing. Maybe they just didn’t want to fix those units at Peary Court , found a sucker buyer who now wants to sucker the City into doing it and walk away with a 25 million dollar profit to boot. Maybe the citizens are ready to buy this white elephant, but is it really worthwhile? It’s not going to help your average worker. Retired admirals and realty salespeople maybe.