Apparently the closing of the marina sale is today, as opposed to yesterday. Or maybe it takes two days for the two sides to properly lube up each other for the screwing. Anyways, this article appeared in the Citizen today: Developer Buys Marina. It pretty much sums up the deal and does mention that the docks will remain “untouched”….at least for now. I suspect I will be able to maintain my happy little home here for the near future.
The big question is how livable the marina will be once Labombard starts with the construction. It’s going to be noisy, dirty, and generally a pain in the ass to those of us who live here. Things we residents take for granted may be interrupted or discontinued for the sake of the construction. Minor things like running water, electricity, or flushing toilets.
I’ve been seeing KWRU vehicles running around the place lately. KWRU runs the sewer utilities around here and their reputation is somewhat less than the stuff they run through their pipeline. They handle some of Labombard’s other properties so no doubt they have a nice little lucrative relationship. Make no mistake, these developers have their own little empire of contractors, builders, and other trades. Every time one of these deals happens, a select few will benefit from it. The rest will lose out.
One of the key things Labombard says in the article above is how much he likes Stock Island and how “fabulous” it is. Gay connotation aside, it indicates he is eyeing up more property out here. He already runs the condos at the golf course, and as far as I know he is also buying up Sunset Marina on the north side. Sunset was a nice little place that allowed live aboards and had some affordable slips. I almost wound up there at one time, but no more. Elsewhere, there are plenty of potential properties that I am sure he would love to lay his grubby little fingers on. There is the shrimp/sponge/lobster dockyards just up the street from me. The marina where I was looking to move too. A long line of old homes along the east side of Cow Key channel. The marina where I do the kayak trips from. And plenty of run down neighborhoods around the island. All sweet pickin’s for somebody with his resources. And if he, or another developer wants those properties, there is little standing in the way of acquiring them. It’s just a question of how long and how much.
Like it or not, this is the fate of the Keys. As developers eye up properties, and envision their own idea of island life, those of us without the resources, those of us who simply came here to live a simpler life, those of us who came here because of what the Keys represented, will all be forced out. The way of life we all envisioned that was the Keys is going away fast and nothing is going to stop it. I knew this when I moved here. I had no doubts that I would not be able to live here for the rest of my life. But that’s ok. I am adaptable, as you well know. I will stay as long as I possibly can. It may be months or years, but I know that at some point, I will not be able to live in the Keys anymore. But I will damn sure enjoy whatever time I do spend down here.
I can work around people like Labombard. He may someday be able to force me out of this marina, but he cannot take anything from me. He may have lots of money, lots of power, and lots of influence, but he is meaningless to me. He will never have my respect, he will never have my admiration, and he will never be anything to me other than another rich asshole. He offers me absolutely nothing that I want nor need in life. When I leave this marina, he will cease to exist as far as I’m concerned. For now, he is just a minor obstacle.
For those of you who I have “inspired”, and are thinking about moving here to the Keys, don’t give up your dreams because of people like him. Just be aware of the changes that are a coming and stay adaptable in your way of thinking and how you live. Don’t allow yourself to get locked down by debt, by owning property, or anything else that can prevent you from moving on to another adventure, when this one is over with.
The Keys and Key West are very unique places to live. For me they have been a source of my inspiration and desire for most of my life. When the day comes that I have to leave, it will be very sad indeed. Key West, despite all the setbacks and such, is the first place that I have ever lived that felt like home. And that is saying alot. But it’s a big planet. There are other islands, (Hawaii), to explore. And at least I will have the memories of living in the Keys as they once were, not what they will become.