Cynics scoffed 35 years ago when they heard about plans to build Eden Condominiums, the one-of-a-kind structure on Perdido Key.
“Too fancy,” they said. “Too far away.”
“It will never last,” they said.
But Eden did indeed flourish and thrive despite storms, oil spills, economic downturns, and other challenges. And it continues to be a leader, setting the highest standards for comfort, grace, and elegance across the entire Gulf Coast.
Along the way the iconic, angled landmark has consistently generated top sales and rental figures, standing the tests of time, hurricanes, and changing tastes.
It is home to a comfortable mix of year-round residents and vacationers who often return frequently to make memories with family and friends.
The man behind Eden, Chip Traynor of Pensacola, used French architects who had built projects on the Riviera. Their drawings produced an eye-catching design, which gives each Eden guest breath-taking views of the Gulf and the sand.
Eden is no pushover, as it showed during Hurricane Ivan, which flattened or battered numerous other structures in 2004. Eden sustained no structural damage; its problems were relatively minor – a broken window here, damaged landscaping there – and it could have reopened quickly except the Key’s power supply was knocked out for months.
Credit goes to Eden’s high-grade construction, a marvel of planning and execution unlike anything else on the Gulf Coast.
The massive steel and concrete pilings were drilled to bedrock 85-to-90 feet deep. Each condo unit is encased in 8 feet of concrete and steel poured in place on the floor, walls, and ceilings. A 12-foot-thick aluminum seawall stands guard on the Gulf, and the lobby is 23.5 feet above sea level.
Easy Living, Done Well
Eden offers everything an upscale traveler could imagine on a beach vacation.
Waterfalls, lighted tennis courts, steam rooms, sauna, pools (the indoor pool is heated), a full-service spa, a fitness center, all sorts of well-tended flowers and plants, comfortable meeting rooms, a decked cookout area, and much, much more. The owners’ lounge even includes a marble bar and a Steinway piano!
Eden wasn’t the only local newsmaker in 1985.
That year, 15 people banded together to form the Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce to help build awareness of the 16-miles-long island and improve business and quality of life for tourists and residents alike.
Membership now is more than 400 strong, with representatives from Pensacola to Gulf Shores. That sustained growth is enduring proof that the chamber successfully handles business, social and environmental concerns, boosts tourism through smart, significant advertising, and works to add parks, a soccer complex, library offerings, and other amenities for the public.
Eden Condominiums is a longtime member of the Chamber because it recognizes this organization’s value – building community, strengthening the economy, connecting with our active-duty and retired military, and holding events that make the Key a spectacular place to work, vacation, and enjoy life.
Like the Perdido Key Chamber, Eden owners support the local community. They shop and dine on the Key, where they enjoy a spectacular array of restaurants, shops, bars, events, and shows, plus the leisurely pace that makes our area home as well as a destination.
On several occasions, Eden owners have opened their doors to wounded military veterans, holding “Wounded Warriors Week” at Eden and turning over their condos to wounded vets and their families for a week of sun and fun, a gesture of thanks for their service to our nation. In turn, many local residents and businesses donated food, fuel, snacks, and activities – building upon the program begun by Eden owners to create an even bigger experience for these military heroes and their families.
Today, Eden stands proudly against the powdery white quartz sand along the shore, an iconic development that shares a birthday with the Perdido Key Chamber. Like the Chamber, Eden is forging lasting bonds with familiar friends even as it introduces new generations of fans to Perdido Key.