Geiger Key Marina, a Lower Keys destination with an old Florida fish camp atmosphere, is now owned by a Maryland-based company that operates dozens of mobile home parks in multiple states.
The marina — complete with a restaurant and RV camp all tucked away on a winding road that begins near mile marker 10.5 — changed hands this week, Florida real estate agent Billy Nash announced Thursday.
Bobby Mongelli, a Keys resident who owned Geiger Key Marina since the 1970s, sold the property to Rockville, Md.-based Parakeet Communities, Nash said in a news release.
Geiger Key Marina has a modest tiki hut frontage with wooden dockside picnic tables and a beautiful view. But it is a heavyweight in travel guides.
A New York Times editor checked out the marina menu in a column on Keys restaurants in February, recommending the fried chicken, which during his visit came with “mashed potatoes, white sauce and puffed asparagus “. (Country Fried Chicken is only served on Mondays and the vegetable varies, an employee confirmed.)
What happens now, after the sale?
“Parakeet plans to operate the property as is, maintaining the rich tradition of Geiger Key,” said Nash, the founder of Nash Luxury at Illustrated Properties.
Parakeet is a property management company that advertises itself as offering “affordable prefab homes”.
A representative for Parakeet could not be reached this week.
Parakeet’s website lacks phone numbers and email addresses. An email submission form did not work, leaving only an online application process available to rent or buy a home.
What was the final sale price? The players do not speak.
“Offered” at $17.5 million
Mongelli failed to return two voicemails and a text message Thursday. He had answered the phone two hours earlier. He told a FLKeysNews.com/Miami Herald reporter that he was having lunch at the time and couldn’t speak.
Geiger Key had been offered at $17.5 million through a “low-key marketing process”, Nash said, “qualifying the right buyer for the unique property”.
“No comment on pricing,” Nash said in a late Thursday text. He added that Mongelli “is a great entrepreneur who has built a great business in the Florida Keys. A true blue water steward.
The deed is not yet in the public records of the Monroe County Property Assessor’s Office or the Monroe County Clerk’s Office.
As of Friday, Mongelli’s PBP Marina was still listed as the owner of the marina property at 5 Geiger Road on the property appraiser’s website. Records can take weeks to reflect a sale, an agency employee said.
David Kendall, a real estate and marina finance expert and senior adviser at SVN Florida Commercial, who worked with Nash on the deal, said he was unable to disclose the price.
Kendall confirmed the owners are now Parakeet and said Thursday was the closing date.
This marina used to need help
Mongelli owns the Hogfish Bar and Grill and the Italian restaurant Roostica, both on Stock Island, which is Key West’s first stop through the narrow Cow Key Channel.
Geiger Key is a little further east of Key West at Mile 10.5. It’s a quiet place that can seem a world away from the alcoholic bustle of Duval Street.
The off-the-beaten-path marina was once a project for Mongelli, who in the 1970s kept his boat there, according to a 2015 article in the Keys Weekly newspaper.
“I saw the property deteriorate,” Mongelli told the local community newspaper. “At its lowest point, it only sold beer. I bought it when it finally got seized. Even then, there was a kind of magic.
This story was originally published September 2, 2022 2:26 p.m.