While studying what is being done with abandoned malls around the country, I ran into the April 2, article in Dallas News by Steve Brown about plans for the struggling, not dead, Collin Creek Mall in Plano, along Highway 75. The mall is being redeveloped into a mixed-use village centered around a crystal lagoon. The plans support dense property usage in the area with office space, multi-family apartments, single-family homes, senior-living units, a hotel, restaurants, retail space, a park and hiking trails with all the parking underground sharing the location where the mall is now. The developer, Centurion American, will begin construction in July 2019. Entertainment will be a big component of the project.
Crystal Lagoon & Real Estate Strategy
Wondering what a crystal lagoon is, I visited their website, crystal-lagoons.com, and found that the crystal lagoon is a water amenity that will increase the value of the surrounding real estate and allow higher rents to be charged for office space, hotels, and apartments because it actually brings the beach or water-front to the neighborhood, no matter where the neighborhood is in the world. Although it was developed first for private use, the public access lagoon model allows communities to be developed around the water feature. According to crystal-lagoons.com, the technology claims to make an unviable project viable. Remaking the land where old malls are located, in the middle of suburbs, into new communities for a long time has been a potentially unviable project. It is good to see that this concept can reform and reuse these massive abandoned spaces in our cities.
The crystal lagoons advertise that they are sustainable, using less chemicals, less energy than conventional pool filtration systems, and less water than parks and golf course, yet providing water as crystalline as swimming pools and tropical lagoons. They use any type of water, salt, fresh, or brackish and control evaporation with a film cover system and by capturing rainwater that falls.
Safe, Smooth, and Clean Water
Even along the coast of an ocean, the crystal lagoon concept offers a safe and controlled environment for water sports and beach activities.
Master-Planned Communities around Lagoons
Here in Texas, there are a couple of communities that include a crystal lagoon as part of their planned amenities. Like the Collins Creek Mall replacement project, these are master-planned communities where entertainment, shopping, and employment can be found within minutes of home.
One of these communities is Windsong Ranch in Prosper, Texas. Another community, Lago Mar, is a 2,033-acre master planned community located along Interstate 45 in Texas City. The 12-acre Lago Mar crystal lagoon is opening in 2020. The entertainment district features multiple beaches, a floating obstacle course, a swim bar, a 10,000-square-foot beach club, and restaurants on the boardwalk.
Balmoral in Houston is a 750-acre new home community in the West Lake area of Houston that offers Texas’ first crystal clear lagoon surrounded by glistening white sand beaches. The lagoon encompassed 2 acres of sparkling blue water that is 8 feet at its deepest and 3 feet in the swimming areas.
As you are considering investing in real estate, think about amenities like these. Are there any crystal lagoons, walking trails, fishing lakes, or theatres, near the property you are considering. These entertainment amenities affect the value of property and the amount of rent you can charge.
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Image credit: Azwar Thaufeeq [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D