Crystal Lagoons Will Develop PAL™ Projects in Europe

The destinations of the new Public Access Lagoons™ projects, also known as PAL™ developments, by Crystal Lagoons will be Mediterranean European cities, not very extensive in surface and with very severe climates.

These are Prague, Warsaw, Bucharest and Budapest, the capitals of the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Hungary, respectively. These historic cities of high urban, cultural and tourist value worldwide will add an attribute that would have been unthinkable before now: beach life that revolutionizes the experience and quality of life of their inhabitants thanks to the PAL™ projects.

This new contract, in partnership with Romanian developer Forty Management, shows that PAL™ developments are valued by all types of urban lifestyles, even in cities of diverse geographical dimensions and adverse climatic conditions. With the new Hot Reef™ technology it is also possible to create heated bathing areas.

Anyone can access the lagoon and white sandy beaches of the PAL™ complexes upon purchase of a ticket and thus experience a tropical paradise just meters from your doorstep. Around the lagoon, there are private residential areas, hotels, stores, restaurants and other infrastructure that transforms these locations into the most beautiful places in the city.

These large bodies of crystalline water can revitalize urban areas in countries with a more reserved, urban culture but where environmental protection is highly valued. Indeed, the environmentally friendly nature of Crystal Lagoons’ technology was key to sealing these contracts that aim for high standards in carbon neutrality. PAL™ projects are valued for their promise of reducing the global carbon footprint by over 40% (14 million tons of CO2 per year) through the reduction of travel to coastal destinations by about 50%.

These Eastern European projects will be ultra-luxury and offer high-end entertainment. The first projects will be developed in Romania, north of Bucharest, and are due to start construction in the second quarter of 2022. Surrounding the lagoon will be a 5-star hotel with 300 rooms, 300 luxury apartments for rent, office and commercial space, and other services such as restaurants, cinemas, educational centers, retailers, trade fair venues, outdoor terraces and other attractions.

“The man-made lagoon is the centerpiece of the project, not only because it will bring idyllic beach life to the city, but also because it is sustainable and meets our goal of achieving carbon neutrality. We believe in quality of life. It is easy build something out of bricks and stones, but it is difficult to breathe life into a project, to give it a soul that helps create unique moments and joyful experiences,” said Lucian Azoitei, founder and CEO of Forty Management, an award-winning Romanian property developer renowned for its green real estate and urban reconversion projects.

“Around the world and particularly in Europe, PAL™ projects are becoming increasingly attractive because of their disruptive innovation that brings a piece of the ocean to their cities. This phenomenon is similar to what happened in England 200 years ago, when London brought a piece of the forest to the city by introducing the first urban parks,” said Francisco Matte, Crystal Lagoons’ regional director for Europe.

In the same way, Crystal Lagoons is expanding steadily throughout Europe and is in advanced negotiations in Italy (Milan, Verona, Rome and Naples), Ukraine, Portugal, Greece and Georgia. The company has active operations in Turkey and Spain. The latter market has the most advanced projects in Costa del Sol, Murcia, while there is an upcoming PAL™ development on the outskirts of Madrid as well as upcoming contracts under negotiation.

The PAL™ model has attracted the interest of important players worldwide, with contracts of note in the United States (16 PAL™ developments in partnership with Epic and Mattel and 5 with ADËLON in Orlando), South Korea (30 PAL™ projects in partnership with NexPlan), Pakistan (15 PAL™ developments in partnership with Ary Group) and Central America (18 PAL™ developments with successful entrepreneurs in the region).

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Crystal Lagoons started 2024 on a high note. The multinational announced a new contract that enhances its presence in this country, the primary market for the firm in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The new real estate project is Azha North Lagoon, a second home complex located on the North Coast, in partnership with Madaar Development, a firm with which Crystal Lagoons has already developed the successful project Azha Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea. The new project will be in Ras Al Hikma, an area of great tourist and holiday success. It is on the front line with a 27-acre lagoon.

In Egypt, Crystal Lagoons has projects in different stages of development and operation, mainly located on the North Coast and along the Red Sea. Also in this country, the multinational has advanced negotiations to enter Cairo with its Public Access Lagoons™ complexes, also known as PAL™, which will revolutionize the lifestyle in Egypt’s cities, bringing beach life to the doorstep of homes and accessible to anyone through the payment of a ticket.

These crystalline lagoons are an attractive real estate amenity in Egypt. Among the multinational’s business partners in Egypt are recognized managers such as Tatweer Misr, Hassan Allam Properties, Golden Pyramids Plaza, and Madaar Development, among others. Likewise, Egypt is the second largest crystalline lagoon in the world at the Citystars Sharm El Sheikh project, with 28 acres in the middle of the desert.

“In Egypt, Crystal Lagoons® technology is recognized as the only one capable of developing crystalline lagoons at low construction and maintenance costs,” explains Miguel Ángel Cabañas, regional director of Crystal Lagoons.

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With new developments in Buenos Aires (Openn Pilar), Rosario (Vida Lagoon y Distrito Cero), and Mar del Plata (Developer Aqua), Argentina has consolidated its position as Crystal Lagoons’ main market in South America after Chile.  In addition to these complexes, there are others in association with essential local real estate managers such as Castex, Morvial, Arkken Group, Rossetti Desarrollos Urbanos, Grupo Monarca, Grupo Developer, DLM, Galp Inversiones and Vizora in Gran Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Pinamar. The projects Terralagos, Lagoon Pilar, Acquavista, and Remeros Beach, among others, stand out.

All Crystal Lagoons developments in Argentina have become sales successes. Remeros Beach sold over half of its sites within the first two months, while Terralagos sold more than 1,000 lots, exhausted apartments in record time, and has a waiting list for the next building to be launched, both projects in Buenos Aires. In Mar del Plata, Developer Aqua sold one-third of the project on the first day of commercial launch, tripling the price per square meter.

“In Argentina, beyond the different economic situations, the success of Crystal Lagoons does not stop. Projects incorporating lagoons generate exponential added value in the real estate sector. The projection is even more positive because an increase in foreign investment is expected in the coming months, which will further boost the real estate market”, explains Francisco Matte, Crystal Lagoons’ regional director for Latin America.

One of the keys to the multinational’s success in Argentina is the beachside lifestyle of its residents who, thanks to the crystalline lagoons, can enjoy turquoise waters just steps from their homes without the need to take a plane, even in inland areas such as Córdoba and Rosario and in a renowned resort town like Mar del Plata.

Crystal Lagoons also has advanced negotiations in Argentina to develop Public Access Lagoons™, also known as PAL™ projects. These complexes, accessible to anyone by paying a ticket, feature large crystalline lagoons and white sand beaches surrounded by attractive amenities such as restaurants, beach clubs, retail outlets, theaters, and cultural activities.

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Crystalline lagoons, powered by Crystal Lagoons® technology, have redefined the global real estate market paradigm. Once again, a leading economic media outlet, Forbes, acknowledges the impact of this amenity, highlighting it as a key driver of sales across the board. Particularly notable is the case of Colombia, where crystalline lagoons have been a fundamental factor in the commercial success of real estate projects. An eloquent example of this phenomenon is the commercial success of the construction company Arquitectura y Concreto. Crystal Lagoons has been a determining factor in the 70% increase in its sales, even in a challenging real estate context facing a 45% decline.

“It sounds unbelievable, but that’s how it happened,” said Francisco Martínez, president of Arquitectura y Concreto, in an interview with Forbes Colombia, attributing the meteoric increase in sales to the innovation of Crystal Lagoons. The executive highlights the success of Crystal Lagoons projects with AED, including Baia Kristal in Cartagena de Indias, the best-selling project in Colombia, reflecting the multinational phenomenon in that market. In fact, with its 3.2 hectares of crystal-clear waters and white sands, it was initially projected to be sold within three years, but it ended up being commercialized in less than 12 months, positioning itself as the #1 project in sales in the country since its launch.

This success led AED to finalize a master agreement with Crystal Lagoons to develop 13 projects with crystalline lagoons in the Colombian Caribbean and the Coffee Region, including cities such as Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Pereira, and Cartagena de Indias.

Azul de Arenas is part of this agreement and marks Crystal Lagoons’ entry into Latin American retail as part of the Colombian Caribbean’s largest shopping and entertainment center. The project’s centerpiece in Cartagena de Indias will be a 3-hectare crystalline lagoon suitable for swimming and water sports.

Forbes