Sunset Key is a 27-acre luxurious island community and resort in Key West, FL. Formally known as Tank Island, Sunset Key is located about 500 yards off the west coast of Key West. The island is accessible only by a shuttle boat that runs from the Westin Key West Resort and Marina. The island is privately held among its residents, one of which is the Westin Key West. Sunset Key consists of 88 residential parcels, a premium restaurant (L’Attitudes) and guest properties operated by the Westin. No cars, only golf carts. Max Relax.
The three types of homes on the island include Beachfront with glorious open water views, Waterfront with Key West Harbor and open water views, and Interior homes. Sale prices currently range from $1,275,000 to over $5,000,000. A few vacant lots are also available.
Access to the island is controlled, and people cannot visit the island without a pass or being accompanied. Such security is an attribute that high profile individuals from all over the world find attractive and highlights Sunset Key’s unique lifestyle. Also, due to U.S. governmental regulations, the island and all the amenities cannot be duplicated, making Sunset Key, Key West a very rare jewel.
Sunset Key was originally known as Tank Island. In the mid 1960's, in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US Navy began dredging the harbor area off the west side of Key West. The purpose was two-fold; to build a fuel depot (Tank Island) and to accommodate submarines and larger ships that were stationed in or visiting the naval facilities in and around Key West.
Nearly 10 million cubic feet of fill turned a sand bar in the harbor into Tank Island. The fuel depot would have had twelve 40' tall, 80' in diameter fuel tanks (such as what you see at refineries and fuel depots). Eight and ten inch pipes were to carry fuel from Tank Island to the Navy ships berthed on the west side of the island in an area now called Truman Annex. Only two such tanks were placed on the island.
When the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved the project was abandoned and Tank Island was never used.
Sale and Construction
In 1986, the Government Services Administration held an auction and sold Tank Island and other mainland acreage (excess property owned by the US Navy) along the harbor. The two fuel tanks on Tank Island were dismantled in 1988, cut into strips, cleaned and barged to make an artificial reef site in 200 feet of water south of Key West.
In 1994 the island was renamed Sunset Key. The new owners used the fuel lines installed across the harbor by the Navy by inserting smaller pipes inside those fuel lines to carry water and sewage. Fiber optic cables were laid for telephone lines and cable television, and armored electrical cables were laid alongside the pipes.
After subdividing the island into lots, construction began in earnest in 1998. All building materials were and are boated in, usually on a special barge. The first homes built were owner occupied. Sales began in 1999.
Sunset Key is subdivided into 88 parcels. The Westin Key West owns numerous parcels on the east side of the island, 7 acres in all, clustered around the L'attitudes restaurant and their marina. Their beautiful guest cottages contain one, two, three and four bedrooms and are available for a day, week, month and anything in between.
Island services include Latitudes, The Spa at Sunset Key, three beautiful beaches, fitness room, tennis courts and its own Fire Station. The 24 hour boat launch conveniently leaves every 15 minutes, either from Sunset Key or from Key West, and runs seven days a week.
Many people ask if insurance is available on the island. Not only is insurance available, but it is less expensive than on the Mainland of Key West. This is due to the fact that the island is higher in elevation from the initial dredge and fill operations of the Navy, and due to the fact that all the homes have been built to newer and more stringent building codes.
A homeowner’s association is set up to protect the integrity and quality of the lifestyle on Sunset Key, and to cover some basic expenses such as the Ferry service, common area maintenance, beach maintenance, etc.
Sunset Key offers a lifestyle unparalleled in Key West, or anywhere else in Florida. On the island, you can enjoy peaceful island living the way it was meant to be, but still have all the amenities of a four star resort.
Engel & Völkers Florida Keys has been involved with Sunset Key for over 10 years and is honored to serve the developers, buyers and sellers of Sunset Key. We have represented over 90% of all sales, maintain relationships with existing and previous owners and have more knowledge about the island than any other company.
If you're searching for premium, secure and relaxing island living look no further than Sunset Key and Engel & Völkers Florida Keys.
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