Crystal Lagoons looks to U.S. after opening pools worldwide
The company touts Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps as its official world ambassador, boasts dozens of projects from Egypt to Argentina and cites reports that its brilliantly blue pools are becoming the globe’s top real estate amenity.
Crystal Lagoons, formed in 2007 by Chilean real estate developer and biochemist Fernando Fischmann, launched its first U.S. water basin, 7.5 acres in size, at a new Tampa, Florida, development and expects to open a second set of 10-acre lagoons this spring in partnership with LeFrak and Turnberry developers at the $4 billion Sole Mia project in North Miami.
The venture, which has its U.S. operations in Miami, has eyed properties in Charlotte, according to a report two years ago in the Charlotte Observer. The column says Crystal Lagoons has 11 developments in the works in the U.S. after creating 300 resorts and communities worldwide with its one-of-a-kind lagoons. The largest will be a 90-acre lagoon in Dubai, now under construction, the Observer says.
What has stirred interest is the company’s high-tech – and environmentally sound, according to the venture and some outside sources – innovations to develop stunningly pristine bodies of water. Crystal Lagoons on its website argues that its purification system has applications in providing water as a resource, such as for industrial cooling systems and building the lagoons on top of unsanitary pools to preempt contamination, and opening public lagoons at golf courses, parks and other recreational areas.
Ely Portillo in the Charlotte Observer account describes a crystal lagoon as a “water feature, basically, that uses proprietary ultrasonic and ‘disinfection pulse’ technology to purify water with lower chemical and energy costs. The water basin, typically several acres, is clear and blue, providing a centerpiece for waterfront dining, an amenity aimed at for-sale and rental housing and a venue for recreation. The artificial bodies of water come with white-sand beaches and docks for small boats, if desired, he said.
Uri Man, chief executive of Crystal Lagoons U.S., was in Charlotte in February 2016 promoting the company while noting he had deals under negotiation in Charlotte and in Asheville, North Carolina, according to the newspaper columnist.
“Our lagoons provide real estate developments with substantial quantifiable benefits such as increases in pricing, sales velocity, higher rents and in many cases the lagoons are being used to transform otherwise nonviable development sites into viable development sites,” Man told the newspaper.
According to the article, Crystal Lagoons contends that the bodies of water “are cheaper, easier to maintain and more eco-friendly than golf courses,” typically a big enticement for new communities. A crystal lagoon costs between $200,000 and $250,000 per acre to build and $2,000 to $2,500 each month to maintain per acre, the article notes.
On its website, Crystal Lagoons lists numerous media accounts of its novel resort and community attraction, including in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek and The Weather Channel.
“Crystal Lagoons is an international company with 16 offices around the world, which has developed and patented a state-of-the-art technology that enables crystal clear lagoons of unlimited sizes to be built and maintained at very low costs,” the company says online. The mega-pools offer “an idyllic beach lifestyle anywhere in the world.”
Jim Parker, CTW Features