Crystal Lagoons Brings Beach Life to the Largest Mall in the Colombian Caribbean

Crystal Lagoons enters the Latin American retail market as part of the largest shopping and entertainment center in the Colombian Caribbean. The central element of the project located in Cartagena de Indias, “Azul de Arenas,” will be a 3-hectare crystalline lagoon suitable for swimming and water sports.

These developments, to which anyone can enter by paying a ticket, also incorporate commerce, a 150-room hotel, offices, apartments, and health centers, among other spaces.

The 120-hectare development is located in this dynamically growing city and will be one of the most important commercial projects, with 110,000 m² of leasable area, highlighting its design and sustainable urbanism, characteristics of Crystal Lagoons® technology.

“Shopping centers today must reinvent themselves and introduce new functional and experiential offerings to the public. PAL™ projects provide an answer to this need, as they not only offer an idyllic beach life but also bring together restaurants, event centers, culture, shows, and attractive activities, factors that enhance public attraction. An example of this is Ary Laguna, one of the largest shopping centers in Pakistan, and the advanced conversations with major US retailer chains,” explains Miguel Ángel Cabañas, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of Crystal Lagoons.

A Long-Term Agreement

Azul de Arenas is part of one of the largest agreements signed by Crystal Lagoons in Latin America, in association with AED Constructores, one of the main real estate firms in the country. The mega-contract includes 13 projects with crystalline lagoons that, in addition to the Colombian Caribbean, will also enhance another tourist icon such as the “Eje Cafetero”.

The success of Baia Kristal, Crystal Lagoons’ first real estate complex in the country, also in partnership with AED Constructores, prompted this company to sign the master agreement to develop projects in Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Pereira, and Cartagena de Indias itself.

“The fact that one of Colombia’s leading developers, such as AED, partners with Crystal Lagoons to build numerous projects, including the largest shopping center in the Colombian Caribbean, shows how our concept and technology are a success in Colombia,” adds Cabañas.

The PAL™ model has piqued the interest of important players worldwide. Crystal Lagoons experienced a record global expansion with these projects. The company entered more than 15 new markets and closed mega-commercial agreements in countries such as Japan, Australia, the United States, India, Korea, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, and Central America, among others.

Learn more about our PAL™ projects here.

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Ascensions on Lake Travis marks the latest Public Access Lagoons® venture signed by Crystal Lagoons in Texas, adding to the multinational innovation company’s array of complexes across the state. 

The project’s standout feature is a sprawling 2.1-acre crystalline lagoon suitable for swimming and water sports. The lagoon will be the centerpiece of a high-end hotel development, solidifying the foothold of Crystal Lagoons in the hospitality industry. Notably, it will be the first Public Access Lagoons® project—also known as PAL® developmentsin Austin, promising a completely new and unique entertainment offering accessible to all through ticketed entry.

Located in Spicewood, a mere 45 minutes northwest of Austin, this development, in partnership with Austin Real Estate Ventures, promises more than just pristine beaches. Luxury residential units, retail boutiques, restaurants, and bespoke services will complement the lagoon, epitomizing the quintessential PAL™ experience.

Crystal Lagoons® technology will not only bring beach life to this area of the Lone Star State but do so sustainably, alleviating the need for Spicewood residents to travel far for coastal recreation and thereby reducing the carbon footprint.

Derek Diaz, CEO of Austin Real Estate Ventures, affirms, “We’re thrilled to partner with Crystal Lagoons to curate the ultimate resort destination, bringing white sand beaches, vibrant blue water, and luscious palm trees to the most desirable location in the state, Lake Travis, in the heart of Texas Hill Country.”

“Every hotel project incorporating a Crystal Lagoons® amenity becomes the most attractive destination in the area. These bodies of water change the paradigm of vacation developments with world-class hotel and resort standards”, explains Iván Manzur, Senior Vice President of Sales at Crystal Lagoons US Corp.

The United States stands as the primary global market for Crystal Lagoons, with over 275 projects in various stages of development and negotiation. Texas, in particular, boasts over 70 complexes, including notable successes like Lago Mar, Balmoral, Windsong Ranch, Sunterra, and Sierra Vista, among others. 

The inauguration of Crystal Lagoons project in the United StatesEvermore Orlando Resort, featuring its impressive 8-acre crystalline lagoon and extensive beaches, steps from Disney World and Universal, has captured the attention of the global press. Nearly 500 media outlets from various countries, including Yahoo!Associated PressNBCFoxABCCBSWashington Daily NewsFinanzen y Benzinga, have covered the news, emphasizing the significance of this tourism milestone.

Since then, numerous articles have highlighted this iconic development, considered one of Florida’s most significant tourism projects. It is located in the heart of Orlando, the most visited destination in the US, with 75 million tourists annually. With over 10,000 rooms surrounding the lagoon powered by Crystal Lagoons® technology, this amenity marks a before and after for the city, which lacked a beach despite its comprehensive entertainment options. Crystal Lagoons solves this problem by introducing a monumental body of water that brings idyllic beach life, redefining hotel standards, and consolidating its presence in the hospitality and entertainment industry.

Surrounding the crystalline lagoon is Orlando’s first Conrad hotel, a luxury brand of the Hilton chain, as well as various homes, villas, and apartments. In addition, there is an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers in history.

“Every hotel project incorporating a Crystal Lagoons® amenity becomes the most attractive destination in the area. Conrad, one of the world’s leading hotel chains, understood this and decided to make a qualitative leap concerning the existing offer in the most touristic area of the U.S.,” said Iván Manzur, Senior Vice President of Sales of Crystal Lagoons US Corp.

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Around the world, the concept and technology of Crystal Lagoons® have become the leading sales attraction, positively impacting its commercial success. Despite the credit and real estate challenges in the current economic conditions, Crystal Lagoons projects continue to defy the market with very impressive sales figures, particularly in the United States. The rankings from real estate consulting firms RCLCO and John Burns on the best-selling master-planned communities once again demonstrated that crystalline lagoons are a powerful purchasing driver. SunterraMiradaWindsong Ranch, and Epperson secured prominent positions in 2023.

These projects ranked among the top 50 best-selling communitiesFlorida leads the ranking within the list, representing close to 40% of the sales for all top-ranked developments, followed by Texas with 37%. In both states, Crystal Lagoons has a significant presence.

In Texas, Sunterra stands out as a project that, even though the crystalline lagoon has not been built yet, serves as a commercial driver within the community, generating sales rates higher than the average, with a significant increase of 63% compared to 2022. This placed it 3rd nationally in both rankings, further boosting the strong performance of Houston, the top-selling metropolitan area in the country. Sunterra’s positive sales results had already been recorded in previous reports.

With the largest amenity powered by Crystal Lagoons® technology in the United States, Mirada in Florida, inaugurated in 2023, sets another record. With an 89% increase in sales, it ranks 17th. Its 15 acres of turquoise waters and white sandy beaches are a buying trigger.

Another notable project in Texas is Windsong Ranch, which has consistently set sales records, ranking 29th in the John Burns ranking. The project has also been nationally awarded as “Master Planned Community of the Year,” among other recognitions.

On the other hand, Epperson in Florida also ranked prominently in both studies, a commercial trend registered since its inauguration as a real estate project. The interest it generated was so significant that it had to be opened to the Public Access Lagoons™ model, also known as PAL™ developments.

The United States is the main operation of Crystal Lagoons worldwide, and it has more than 275 projects at different stages of development and negotiation. Among the most important are Mirada, Sole Mia, Balmoral, Windsong Ranch, Beachwalk, Southshore Bay, Aqua, among others. The recent joint venture to develop four Public Access Lagoons™ complexes, also known as PAL™, in Texas stands out and will add to the successful public access developments Epperson (Florida) and Lago Mar (Texas).

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