The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Miami developer seeks to bring beachfront lifestyle to inland communities

(Courtesy of Crystal Lagoons)
Placeholder while article actions load

When valuing waterfront property, real estate experts often say “they can’t make any more of it” — so therefore, it will always hold onto its appeal.

While it’s not possible to create more oceanfront land, Crystal Lagoons, a Miami-based company, is introducing Caribbean-style beachfront property to locations around the world.

The largest of these, a 14-acre “crystal lagoon,” is planned for Twin Creeks, a community under development in St. John’s County, Fla., between Jacksonville and St. Augustine. That project will eventually include more than 3,000 homes, along with retail and commercial space, schools, parks and waterfront dining. A single-family home development on the northern side of the community will include private beaches.

Vacation properties are hot: Where to shop for that home away from home

In addition to offering a view of turquoise water and an opportunity to play or relax on a sandy beach, the lagoons are suitable for swimming, paddleboarding, sailing, windsurfing and kayaking.

The first Crystal Lagoon was built in San Alfonso Del Mar in Chile 17 years ago. The first to be completed in the United States will be an eight-acre lagoon in Pasco County, Fla. Eleven more projects have been announced in the United States and 35 are under negotiation in nine states, including Michigan, New York, California, Georgia, Arizona, Texas, Nevada and Hawaii in addition to Florida. Crystal Lagoons is in talks with two developers in the Washington, D.C., area to introduce the concept to this region.

The Crystal Lagoon technology, officials say, can use almost any type of water, including fresh or saltwater, brackish water or well water. It uses 30 times less water than a typical 18-hole golf course and 50 percent less water than a park of similar size, according to the company. Disinfection pulses in the system allow the lagoon to use up to 100 times fewer chemicals than swimming pools and an ultrasonic filtration system allow it to use up to 50 times less energy than conventional filtration systems. The systems are mostly maintained mechanically.

In addition to residential community use, Crystal Lagoons can be installed in public parks and may have industrial applications. For information, visit

To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at and put “Town Square” in the subject line.