Tropical North Queensland will be home to the first Crystal Lagoon in Australia, following the announcement today of an agreement to create a 2.2 hectare lagoon as the centrepiece of a new 1,000 home residential development in Cairns.
The lagoon will extend 700 metres through the centre of the Botanica development and allow the majority of apartments, townhouses and villas in the $200 million master-planned community to enjoy a waterfront location where residents can swim and sail in safe environment inside the man-made crystalline lagoon.
The precinct will also feature a beach club, restaurants, cafes, walking trails, tennis courts, sporting fields, commercial space and 8km of landscaped gardens. Tree planting has already begun on the 32 hectare site.
Crystal Lagoons Oceania Director German Rocca said the signing of the agreement marked an important milestone for the US-based technology company and the developer, Botanica Property Group.
“The lagoon at Botanica signals a turning point in Australian real estate development,” said Mr Rocca. “Crystal Lagoons offers the world’s top amenity and the future residents of Botanica will be the first in Australia to enjoy the lifestyle benefits of an idyllic beach and the pristine water of a man-made lagoon in their backyard.
“Cairns is an amazing tropical paradise with one drawback – for part of the year swimming in the ocean is restricted to only those beaches with stinger enclosures because of the Irukandji and Box Jellyfish. Botanica will provide year-round swimming and water sports without anybody having to worry about the dangers.”
Botanica last year gained Preliminary Approval from Cairns Regional Council for the master-planned development in the Cairns suburb of Caravonica and today’s agreement means it can now progress to the next stage of planning.
Botanica Property Group Director Rob Wallace, who travelled to Mexico several years ago to inspect one of the first Crystal Lagoons projects, said the vision for Botanica had been shaped around the provision of a swimming lagoon.
“We want to make Botanica a lifestyle destination where residents can enjoy this incredible 2.2 hectare lagoon, ” said Mr Wallace. “I travelled to Mexico to see for myself whether Crystal Lagoons lived up to the promise and that experience confirmed the huge potential for a lagoon in our Botanica development.
“We have a warm tropical climate and a lagoon is going to put this development on the map and deliver a huge boost to the region.
“Not only will people be able to swim and go boating in the lagoon but the technology used to purify the water is right at the cutting edge of sustainable technology. We are committed to eco-friendly development so water and energy use is an important consideration for us.”
Crystal Lagoons consume around half of the water required by a park of the same size and up to 30 times less than a golf course. They can use any kind of water – salt, fresh or brackish, or water from underground aquifers in deserts.
Water quality is maintained through patented technology, monitored around the clock from Crystal Lagoons headquarters in Miami, and compliant with the highest international sanitary standards.
Mr Rocca said the quality of water in Crystal Lagoons had been certified by independent studies that confirmed the quality of water exceeded that of sea water, lakes and pool water.
Since it was established eight years ago Crystal Lagoons has 300 projects in development in both residential and hotel settings.
This includes a 12 hectare lagoon at Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, which set a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest man-made lagoon.
That record will be surpassed by a 40-hectare crystal clear lagoon currently under construction at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City in Dubai, the first stage of which will be operational this year.”
Last month the company announced plans to team up with one of the most important hotel groups of Las Vegas to transform the Las Vegas Strip into a beach-front paradise with the biggest lagoon in the United States, the company’s first in Las Vegas and 12th in that country.
Mr Rocca said Crystal Lagoons were fast replacing golf courses as the world’s top amenity.
“For many developers of residential real estate the golf course has failed to deliver the anticipated lift in sales velocity and price premium,” said Mr Rocca. “Whereas the number of golfers is declining, particularly amongst younger people, swimming and water sports never go out of favour.”
Mr Wallace said the universal appeal of the lagoon would make Botanica attractive to a wide range of buyers.
“We have a diverse housing mix and the Crystal Lagoon will give us a marketing edge that appeals to all types of people – from families, to singles, couples and empty nester down-sizers.”
Key facts about Crystal Lagoons technology
Sustainable: Allows limited resources such as energy and water to be used efficiently and can use any type of water: salt, fresh or brackish water.
Low Water Consumption: Consumes up to half the water of a park of the same size and uses up to 30 times less water than a standard golf course.
Eco-friendly: Uses up to 100 times fewer chemicals than conventional swimming pool systems and consumes up to 2 per cent of the energy needed by conventional filtration systems.
Safe: Fully complies with the most stringent international water-quality standards.
Remotely Monitored & Operated: All Crystal Lagoons are monitored and operated from a centralized location ensuring optimum water quality and an eco-friendly environment.