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A Real Estate Gimmick That Might Save the Planet

By Posted in - MN Real Estate on May 17th, 2016 0 Comments 40

The headline had to stop everyone who even glanced at Bloomberg’s Technology section: Minnesota real estate readers (even those who are relatively gimmick-immune) would have been hard pressed to pass up last Wednesday’s Bloomberg Technology headline: “Can This Real Estate Gimmick Save the World?”
Whether the subject of the article really is a gimmick or “the greatest real estate amenity since running water” is yet to be determined—but it’s certainly, at the very least, an intriguing idea. Steve Wynn is intrigued. He’s tearing up the golf course behind his Las Vegas Strip hotels to replace it with an installation. And with 60 of them already in place (and 250 on the drawing board), if it’s a gimmick, it’s one that’s making a large splash beyond the real estate world.
The core of the idea is the creation of gigantic artificial clear-water lakes (“lagoons” is the preferred word). It is hoped that real estate promoters will see the innovation as adding an attraction that turns otherwise featureless landscapes into much more desirable (real estate “developer-speak” would be valuable) recreational oasis’.
The whole thing is the brainchild of Fernando Fischmann, a Chilean entrepreneur who calls his company “Crystal Lagoons.” Its website, crystal-lagoons.com, shows a stunning vista of what looks to be an enormous, other-worldly swimming pool—acre upon acre of swimming pool—with a beach visible off to the side, a distant sailboat slicing through the water, people swimming, kayaking, etc. Since this is an actual photograph, it does lend credibility to the immodest claim: “Crystal Lagoons can transform any destination into an idyllic beach paradise.”
Even if (as the video announcer says) the size of any given lagoon is “unlimited,” this alone might not seem likely to save the world. But it turns out that the technology behind it could have wider ramifications…
The idea started when Fischmann set out to improve the murky, bacteria-laden water quality of a developer’s artificial lagoon that had gone bad. A world-wide search confirmed that the technology didn’t exist. Since he was a trained biochemist himself, he decided to see if it could be developed. The result is an ultrasonic filtration system, strategically released computerized “disinfection pulses” (said to release just 1% of the volume of chemicals used in swimming pools or water treatment plants), and a few more patented innovations that combine to create the inviting aquascapes. The CityStars resort in Egypt covers 30 acres.
How does this save the world? Unless your world hinges on selling waterfront condos in bone-dry landscapes, it wouldn’t seem to be the case. The answer is that the technology also uses very little energy and very little water: with reclaimed sea water, it’s using a process that requires about a tenth as much energy as previous methods. Maintenance uses a quarter of the water required for a like-sized golf course. And the dream extends to developing systems that cool electric power plants and use the excess heat to power desalination facilities. Since freshwater production figures high on the world’s imminent shortage list…
Minnesota may not be in line for any million-gallon artificial lagoons anytime soon, but if the technology continues to evolve, I guess we can’t rule it out eventually. In the meantime, we have plenty of our own captivating real estate amenities—they’re showing in the Minnesota home listings available right here, right now. Visit our website to view homes available to purchase and the find the one matching the amenities on your wish list!
Cindy Hanson Welu is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, Certified Community Expert and Accredited Staging Professional. She and her team have been one of the top home sellers in the Twin Cities the past fifteen years. Reach them at 952-943-1324 or team@joeandcindy.com. Visit JoeAndCindy.com Picture from crystal-lagoon.com

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