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.