WHY THIS MATTERS INN BRIEF
Buying into floating islands is becoming increasingly popular as sea levels rise and as the pandemic continues to bite.
The climate’s changing, the sea levels are rising, coastal cities face more flooding today than they have in the last century, and that’s why last year the United Nations gave its approval for the development of the world’s first floating oceanic city, dubbed appropriately Oceanix. Weird times, eh?
Now, taking that plan up a notch, and as the result of the current global pandemic it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone that The Blue Estate Group has been inundated with requests after unveiling plans for its man-made Blue Estate Island, where property prices start at $19,800 and rise to over $1 billion.
Located a 25 minute plane journey from Bahamas capital Nassau and just under 90 minutes from Miami, the new island will measure 4,921 feet by 3,280 feet (1,500 meters by 1,000 meters), an area half the size of Monaco, and can accommodate up to 15,000 permanent residents.
Those who snap up a place at the “world’s most exclusive private residence” will be treated to more than 340 days of sunshine each year thanks to the island’s prime location, according to the developers.
“At first we were worried whether the current pandemic might have a negative impact on the project,” said Erik Schmidt, Chief Communications Officer for the Blue Estate Group. “But luckily it played out differently. Some districts are almost completely sold out and the sales team is doing it’s best to keep up with the requests and questions.”
The properties on offer range from $19,800 interior apartments measuring 20 square meters, $194,400 balcony apartments, a $54 million five bedroom garden villa and two “signature estate” mega mansions, each with an estimated $1.15 billion price tag.
Those wealthy enough to afford the latter will need to present a “ground breaking architectural concept” before they can be approved to purchase the mansion, and Schmidt confirms that one application has already been submitted.
The island, which is built with “ultra-high performance concrete modules,” will have its own state-of-the-art health clinic, as well as an international school that can cater to children from “toddlers age to diploma graduates.”
“There are no special requirements to become a resident on the Blue Estate,” Schmidt explains.
“We require all residents and visitors to comply with the “Blue Estates Community Guidelines & Rules” from the day they arrive on the island, and they must be able to self-maintain their life on the island. Everybody is welcome to buy, own or rent a property and/or open a business on the Blue Estate.”
Residents who work here can apply for a range of business licenses, valid for a period of 12 months, but they will not be subject to taxes which could be another great perk.
“The increase in remote work opportunities of the past decade, not only due to the pandemic), allows more people to freely choose a ‘home base’ that meets their individual requirements best,” he explains, before indicating that the average resident’s ages is likely to be “significant lower” her than most other cities. “Young entrepreneurs can focus on their start-up business and don’t have to battle paperwork and pay high taxes.”
Blue Estate will also hold a number of ocean clubs, lagoon-style pools, playgrounds, markets, restaurants, bars and shopping areas, so residents are likely to have plenty to keep them entertained.
Although it’s difficult to judge how much the global pandemic may have contributed to buyers’ decision to purchase a property at Blue Estate, Schmidt says many have expressed worries about “personal or business restrictions” in their home countries.
Although the majority of buyers have been from the US, some properties have been purchased by residents of Canada as well as Europe and China.
“Dissatisfaction has always been and will remain, a driving factor for change,” Schmidt adds.
There’s also no visa requirement for buyers, residents “can stay as long as they wish on the Blue Estate,” according to Schmidt. However, all arrivals be subject to airport-style security checks.
While construction doesn’t begin until 2022 and the island won’t be fully completed for another four years, some of the properties may be ready for handover by mid-2023.
In order to achieve its goal of being one of the “world’s greenest communities,” all of the island’s energy will be generated from renewable sources, and it will operate a policy of no single use plastic and zero emission.
Blue Estate is also open to non-residents, however visitors must apply for a permit or visa prior to their trip as only a specific number of visitors will be allowed on the island at the time, and, naturally, there will be two hotels on the island to accommodate visitors who are “just passing through.”