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Jax Daily Record Friday, Dec. 29, 201706:40 AM EST

Artificial lagoon in St. Johns community will be the largest man-made water feature in U.S.

Beachwalk’s Crystal Lagoon is filling up.
by: Andrew Warfield Staff Writer

The developer of the Beachwalk community in St. Johns County has begun filling the 14-acre Crystal Lagoon centerpiece of the multiuse development. 

Within the first week, 2 million gallons have poured into the water amenity. Set against a white lining, the lagoon is taking on the natural turquoise hue that will deepen into a “Caribbean” blue as it approaches its 10-foot depth.

By February, the water will be surrounded by a 100-foot white-sand beach with palms and winding footpaths. When completed, Beachwalk’s Crystal Lagoon will be the largest man-made water feature in the U.S.

“There’s nothing else like it in Northeast Florida,” said Beachwalk developer John Kinsey of Boca Raton. “It’s the only community where you can literally have the beach in your backyard without being at the beach.”

The development entity is Twin Creeks Development in partnership with Encore Capital Management.

The lagoon will be maintained with water treatment technologies similar to those used in municipal water systems, said Kinsey.

The proprietary system, developed and operated by Crystal Lagoons, uses ultrasonic disinfection pulses that require only 1 percent of the chemicals and 2 percent of the energy used by conventional swimming pool filtration systems.

Crystal Lagoon technology was developed 20 years ago and first used at the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Chile. Since then, it’s been part of more than 300 real estate projects in more than 60 countries. It has 16 offices on six continents.

Kinsey saw the Crystal Lagoon while visiting Chile.

“The first time you step onto the shore of one of these things, you’re sold,” he said. “You can’t imagine it just from a picture, A week later, I visited the Bahamas. The beach there looked exactly like the Crystal Lagoon.”

The community features a Caribbean, Key West and West Indies style with metal-roof homes, Bermuda grass and every type of palm tree that will grow well in North Florida.

The signature amenity is the lagoon where residents will be able to swim, paddle kayaks or stroll along a boardwalk.

Use of the lagoon is for Beachwalk residents only.

Additional resident-only amenities include water slides, a miniature golf course,  2,500-square-foot splash park for dogs, Caribbean-themed clubhouse and a 3,000-square-foot swim-up bar at the edge of the lagoon.

Beachwalk will include single-family homes and twin villas on the lagoon with 761 homes in all. 

Models by homebuilders Americrest Luxury Homes, Lennar and Vintage Estate Homes will open in January. Homes will be priced from the low $300,000s to the mid-$800,000s. 

Beachwalk also will include 175,000 square feet of retail space for shops and restaurants. The developer is in talks with additional commercial users. 

Beachwalk is on County Road 210 between Interstate 95 at Exit 329 and Philips Highway.

For more information visit

For more information about Crystal Lagoons, visit

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