Deeds and WeedsFebruary 1, 2009

Even The Rich Are Feeling The Heat

A long -- but very interesting -- article in today's New York Times about how the economic downturn has not spared residents of Fisher Island, Fla., a tiny, exclusive island enclave off the coast near Miami, described in the story as "one of the country's wealthiest communities." The island's amenities include Fisher Island CC, which has tennis courts, pools and a nine-hole golf course.

Like a lot of clubs, Fisher Island embarked on a huge capital improvement project -- except theirs was to the tune of $60 million -- just about the time the downturn hit. As a result, many residents have decided to sell and move on. According to the story, 695 of the island's condominiums are ont he market.

"It was a grandiose program that went directly into the eye of the storm," one resident, Richard Goodwin, told the Times. "I used to be rich and by American standards, I still am. But now it is a time for people like me to hunker down."

To give you an idea: Goodwin has a 720-square-foot condo. His annual expenses and fees as an island resident are $80,000.

-- G.R.