It’s long been recognized home buyers love a view of the blue. Due to their comparative scarcity, homes on oceans, lakes (Great and otherwise), rivers and canals consistently command more at sale time. How much more? According to some estimates, a home on a lake will garner 25 to 50 percent more than the same home in an inland location.
But trotting out the phrase “The Lord’s not making any more waterfront property” to explain the price premium may not work anymore. That’s because high-end developers are turning to the incorporation of man-made “crystal lagoons” on residential properties to drive buyer interest in their upscale developments.
“There is tremendous value in adding lagoons to upscale properties,” says Carlos Rosso, developer behind ONE Park Tower by Turnberry at SoLe Mia in North Miami, a 32-story, 303-residence project featuring access to a seven-acre “crystal lagoon,” a body of water so named for its crystal-clear waters.
“You can create a waterfront community with incredible views in urban areas where that wasn’t previously possible. It’s a unique amenity that is an asset for the development and buyers. Of course, building lagoons of this scale requires very large development sites. So they are not easily replicated.”
Of a size equal to 21 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the crystal lagoon amenity at ONE Park Tower offers a private island, dedicated lounge chairs set up along the sands of a private beach, stand-up paddle boarding and dining provided by The Lagoon Café.
The resort-style enclave, designed by prizewinning architecture firm Arquitectonica, also offers amenities that range from a wellness center with fitness, spa and massage facilities to co-working space, a library and pickleball courts.
But it’s the lagoon that’s proven to be among the greatest lures for ONE Park Tower buyers, Rosso says. “It contributes to a new type of luxury we are offering: An urban lifestyle surrounded by nature, and a fantastic relationship with water. You can step outside your unit straight to the crystal-blue waters at the lagoon.”
North Miami doesn’t have the market cornered on crystal lagoons. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One in Dubai, UAE encircles a 100-acre crystal lagoon. The crystalline water feature corkscrews around five islands and 1,100 acres of emerald frondescence, with more than 4.5 miles of beachfront. Residents are able to participate in kayaking, paddle boarding and aqua aerobics.
This community is a high-profile component of a master-planned development from Meydan Group called The Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum City. It features a public park whose size dwarfs London’s Hyde Park, the world’s largest shopping mall, corporate office buildings and more than 1,500 new ultra-luxurious residential condominiums.
Another high-end development, MahaSamutr in Hua Hin, Thailand, features Asia’s first and most expansive crystal lagoon.
Each of its 80 villas is set on the nearly 18-acre lagoon, which offers sailing, windsurfing and paddle boarding. Fresh transit alternatives being planned will ensure the community remains readily accessible by a high-speed train from Bangkok. A boat ferry from Pattaya also brings MahaSamutr within reach.
Social focal point
Crystal lagoons’ ability to pull residents together in water sports or relaxing moments beneath palm trees makes these water features highly effective social connectors.
“Incorporating a lagoon into a development creates a beautiful waterfront environment and also serves as a community centerpiece,” Rosso says.
“It’s a feature that brings people together, adding an inherent social element through incredible recreational activities. At ONE Park Tower, the . . . crystal lagoon has something for everyone, from swimming to kayaking, paddle boarding, or lounging on the private beach with service by a dedicated beach concierge. [That] makes it a highly sought-after amenity.”