Multinational water innovation company Crystal Lagoons has partnered with JSE-listed Balwin Properties for the construction and operation of South Africa’s first Crystal Lagoon, the world’s top amenity that will bring beach life to Gauteng.
Balwin Properties’ new R4.2bn residential development, The Blyde at Riverwalk Estate, located in Pretoria East, Gauteng, will showcase Crystal Lagoons’ unique technology, which is patented in 190 countries and has revolutionised the global real estate market by bringing idyllic beach paradises to new locations, where swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing can be enjoyed. The Crystal Lagoon at The Blyde at Riverwalk Estate joins the ranks of over 600 Crystal Lagoons projects – in different stages of development and negotiation worldwide – in over 60 countries.
“At 1.5 hectares (which is equivalent to just over 2 rugby fields), the Crystal Lagoon will be a key selling-point to the development, and be the first lagoon to feature our game-changing technology and unique concept in Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Alastair Sinclair, Regional Director for Africa at Crystal Lagoons.
The Crystal Lagoon at The Blyde at Riverwalk Estate will be a unique draw-card for property investors, as well as buyers looking for a one-of-a-kind lifestyle. It will feature beaches, a pedestrian promenade as well as exclusive clubhouses for residents’ usage. “A Crystal Lagoon is a family oriented amenity that allows for swimming and practice of water-sports in a safe, controlled environment, and in a sustainable manner,” adds Sinclair.
In that sense, it will help solve the problem of safe swimming in dangerous coastal areas and will add value to inland areas far from the coast. In fact, it will be specifically useful for locations where the ocean or rivers are unswimmable due to pollution, sharks or dangerous currents.
For Crystal Lagoons, this represents only the beginning of its expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa. “With 13 projects in various stages of design, construction and operation in Egypt, the addition of this lagoon to our growing portfolio, serves to further extend our footprint on the African continent, and cement the region as one of importance to the global growth of our company,” Sinclair said.
Steve Brookes, CEO of Balwin Properties, said: “We are very excited about our partnership with Crystal Lagoons and foresee this as the first of at least 6 lagoons in South Africa combined with the Balwin brand.
Balwin developments appeal to couples investing in their first home, retired people looking for safe lock-up and go apartments, young families who can let their children be children, and to investors who are attracted by the return on investment that the developments offer.”
“By bringing the beach to Pretoria we are taking apartment living to the next level by making resort lifestyle living a reality. This development will also have the signature lifestyle centre that has become synonymous with Balwin Properties, including a fully equipped gym, squash court, restaurant, concierge, laundromat, cinema room and a function room as well as state of the art security. The continuous promenade around the lagoon is perfect for sunset strolls and it will connect the different amenities around the lagoon,” Brookes added.
The addition of a Crystal Lagoon to property developments greatly increases sales, and at a very low cost—in both construction and maintenance, and importantly, in basic resource consumption such as electricity and water. A Crystal Lagoon can be filled with fresh, brackish, or even salt water and uses 2% of the energy of standard pool filtration technologies, and 100 times less additives.
The sustainability of these water amenities makes them very attractive in the South African market. A typical Crystal Lagoons uses 30 times less water than a standard golf course, and in many cases rainwater is all that is needed to replenish the water, thanks in part to the patented anti-evaporation film which restricts the amount of water lost via evaporation.
“We are confident that the inclusion of this water amenity at The Blyde in Riverwalk Estate will significantly increase the sales rate of the project and will enable other developers to see the return on investment that the installation of a Crystal Lagoon can provide. We are pleased to be partnering with Balwin Properties, bringing the first Crystal Lagoon to South Africa,” says Sinclair.