Multinational water-innovation company Crystal Lagoons has signed its first deal in Africa – a 1.5 hectare lagoon in the new Blyde Riverwalk development in Pretoria, South Africa. The deal is the first of several projects that Crystal Lagoons hopes to develop in the continent.
The company, formed by scientist and property developer Fernando Fischmann, specialises in creating lagoons in conjunction with waterfront-style residential complexes. Crystal Lagoons was a silver sponsor of the East African Property Investment Summit in April this year and is also negotiating deals in Kenya. Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alastair Sinclair, said that the company is excited to expand their presence in the region. “Rapid urbanisation and economic development make Sub-Saharan Africa a promising market for property, especially as countries like Kenya are starting to adopt international frameworks like the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), a vote of confidence which indicates that the listed property market has developed significantly in recent years.
Kenya is seen as an appealing and fast-growing African market with huge economic potential. All eyes are on the country’s real-estate and tourism markets since the World Economic Forum identified it as the third highest ranked sub-Saharan country in terms of its competitiveness as a tourist destination. Kenya’s GDP is the fifth-fastest growing economy in the Top 10 Sub-Saharan growth economies, having averaged 5% growth over the past decade – a figure which is expected to increase in 2017.
Crystal Lagoons technology, patented in 190 countries is currently involved in 600 projects in 60 countries in various stages of completion, and has started a real estate revolution around the world by enabling the creation and of unlimited sized bodies of crystal clear water at very low construction and maintenance costs. When included in residential developments, they have contributed to exponential growth in sales prices and sales velocity, as well as an increase in project density. “The company’s unique and sustainable concept and technology seeks to positively impact the lives of end users for generations to come through the generation of idyllic beach destinations at any location that promote a healthy lifestyle through the safe and healthy practice of water sports”.
In Chile, for example, the San Alfonso Del Mar resort originally planned 400 residential units. Due to increased demand created by the addition of a Crystal Lagoon, the project expanded to 1400 units and now attracts visitors from across the world. At 8 hectares, this Lagoon obtained the company’s first world record in 2007 for the world’s largest manmade lagoon. They beat their own record in 2015, after a 12.5 hectare Crystal Lagoon was built in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Sinclair spoke about the company’s expansion in the region: “Our patented technology and successful business model adds significant value to a development at a very low cost, and it provides substantial return on investment. We have partnered with Balwin Properties in South Africa to build the first Crystal Lagoon in Sub-Saharan Africa, and we are in talks in a number of other African countries. Furthermore, with more focus being placed on tourism growth in East Africa, along with improved infrastructure rollout across the whole continent, our unique, patented concept and technology makes perfect sense in the development of new destinations anywhere,”