Property: Wrecker’s Cay Apartments
Developer: Integra Investments
Architect: PQH Group
Location: Key West, Florida
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Key West, Florida, is $2,865 — up from about $1,750 in 2015, according to Zumper research, and comparable to San Francisco rents at $2,995. In the wake of these rising prices and the impact of hurricanes on the region, particularly Hurricane Irma in 2017, the Florida Keys is facing a shortage of housing for its workforce population.
In order to meet this need, Miami-based investment and development company Integra Investments has completed the largest workforce housing development in the Florida Keys in 50 years, according to a press release shared with Multifamily Dive. Wrecker’s Cay Apartments is located on the east end of Stock Island, situated between the Key West, Florida, city center and the Naval Air Station Key West.
The privately funded development, which opened last month, consists of 280 units across eight buildings, which are presently 100% leased, according to the developer. Units range from studios to one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments; of them, 70 are designated as low-income units, 98 as median-income and 112 as moderate-income.
"Wrecker's Cay Apartments [is] an important project that builds a stronger footprint for workforce housing in the Florida Keys," said Victor Ballestas, Integra Investments principal, in the release.
The property is surrounded on two sides by waterfront, with a tree-lined cay at the north end of the property and a marina next door. The buildings feature a staggered facade and a bright white color palette inside and out, and each one is lifted above sea level by support columns. On-site amenities include a children’s playground, a fitness center, a clubroom and catering kitchen, an outdoor pavilion and kitchen and a resort-style pool.
Wrecker’s Cay is situated near the entrance of Stock Island within two blocks of the Overseas Highway, which provides access to Key West and the rest of the island chain. Residents are also within walking distance of Stock Island’s retail and restaurants.
Stock Island has a population of less than 5,000, with a median household income of $55,483. The island has long been a working-class area with largely year-round residents, and the majority of the working population is employed outside the island, according to Census data.
Integra Investments also recently purchased a marina on Stock Island for residents who would rather live on the water. The 288-slip Perry Marina, purchased through its Integra Marinas subsidiary, is associated with the nearby Perry Hotel owned by Key International, and includes a 63-slip liveaboard community known as Coconut Row