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Developers Target Florida For Crystal Lagoon Concept

Orlando has every type of leisure and tourist attraction imaginable — except for a beach. A new development partnership is seeking to fill that gap. 

Hospitality and mixed-use investor Adelon Capital has partnered with Crystal Lagoons — a company that builds beach-like artificial crystalline pools — to develop at least five “Public Access Lagoons” projects in Orlando, the first of which is to be built next year. 

A rendering from Crystal Lagoons

With exclusivity agreements in place, Adelon and Crystal Lagoons intend to develop more of the projects in Brevard County and along Florida's east coast. Adelon Capital has offices in Hollywood, Florida, and Mexico. 

Crystal Lagoons counts 222 projects in development around the world, including 51 in Florida, 11 in Massachusetts, 30 in Korea, 15 in Pakistan and others from Latvia to Chile to Nigeria. There were only five in the U.S. in 2020.

The lagoons were invented by a Chilean biochemist. They can be designed with a removable dome, to remain usable even on rainy days. Also, new technology can heat water by circulating between the lagoon and nearby data centers that throw off energy from computer systems, the company website says.

In addition to ticket sales, lagoon sites can be monetized by adding water sports and retail, as well as concerts, weddings and trade shows. Selling naming rights is encouraged.

In Florida, the first Crystal Lagoon was the 7.5-acre Metro Lagoon in Tampa, in Metro Development Group’s master-planned community Epperson. Epperson has become the 27th fastest-growing master-planned community in the United States, with 638 homes sold there last year, according to the Business Observer.  

When that project opened, "it triggered a wave of ticket sales worth $50,000 daily with up to 1,200 visitors every day," the company said in a news release. 

That influx of people created an uproar from residents, according to the Business Observer. Nevertheless, Metro Development Group is now planning another lagoon nearby in the town of San Antonio — this one spanning 15 acres.