TEXAS CITY

A 12-acre manmade swimming area with white sand beaches and an accompanying retail center is coming to Texas City’s Lago Mar subdivision.

The developer behind the 2,000-acre housing development off Interstate 45, Land Tejas Development, announced on Thursday that it plans to build the “crystal clear” lagoon in the middle of the neighborhood by 2020. Construction of the massive pool, which will be private access and only open to neighborhood residents and their guests at first, will begin this month, Tim Johnson, director of marketing and communications for Land Tejas, said.

“We’re starting the excavation really soon,” he said. “The first phase, the one that we’re hoping to have done by 2020, will be private access. Public access will come after.”

There’s no set date for when the public access portion of the project, which will include 250,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space as well as beaches, a kids zone and other amenities, will be complete.

“What we’re doing right now is we’re starting on the resident portion,” Johnson said, noting that the first phase will cost around $15 million.

Trez Capital, a Canada-based mortgage lender, will finance the project, Johnson said.

The lagoon, which has been in the planning stages for a couple years now, will be up to 10-feet deep and will use fewer chemicals than a traditional pool. A patented technology, courtesy of Chile-based Crystal Lagoons, makes this man-made facility a “crystal clear” lagoon. Unlike a swimming pool, the water in the isn’t filtered because the cleaning chemicals don’t require that kind of process, Johnson said.

“It’s its own special technology,” he said. “The main difference between a crystal lagoon and a pool is that a pool’s water has to be filtered, probably up to three times a day. A crystal lagoon doesn’t have to do that, its water can stay in the lagoon.”

The lagoon will be the second — and largest — of its kind in Texas. A private access, two-acre Crystal Lagoon opened in a Humble subdivision last month, and the lagoon company has around 300 projects planned around the world, Johnson said.

Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle, who couldn’t be reached for comment on Friday, said in an earlier Land Tejas Development news release that the new lagoon will bring a completely new vibe to the city.

“The Lago Mar lagoon will completely change the entrance into our city, giving our citizens and tourists around the country an exciting destination for relaxation and entertainment” Doyle said. “I could not be happier. Our mission was to make our section of I-45 something special. The Lago Mar lagoon is beyond our wildest dreams.”

Aaron West: 409-683-5246; aaron.west@galvnews.com

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(4) comments

Steve Fouga

This will be a very popular amenity. When Palm Beach was built at Moody Gardens, I predicted a big bust -- after all, there was a REAL beach only a mile away. Instead, we spent a good portion of our vacations for the next several years with my daughter and nephews, playing on the white-sand, freshwater beach. It was always crowded with vacationers.

George Croix

"Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle said in the news release that the new lagoon will bring a completely new vibe to the city."

But, Lago Mar is out in 'west' Texas City - the separate and distinct town from main Texas City - just ask the residents east of 146....or the GDN, for that matter.....[whistling]

Evidently, though, one Mayor serves 'both' towns.....[wink][innocent]

Randy Chapman

That's nice for Lago Mar, another subdivision being invaded by the west-coasties. They aren't spending their cash in eastern Texas City, which is rapidly becoming a rental community as fewer and fewer folks want to purchase next door to blight. Much of the blight is because slumlords purchase homes after the older owners move on. The City is trying to combat the problem and has made some headway, but it's comparable to the little Dutch boy trying to plug all the holes in the dike.

It's truly sad to see what once nice nieghborhoods have become in the last few decades. Texas City was once a nice community dominated by folks who worked for the local petrochemical industry and supporting businesses. Now, due to the refineries outsourcing almost everything, that model has changed. And with that, way too much Section 8 rental housing has replaced owners who took pride in their properties.

Sadly, I don't think the eastern part of the city will recover fully during my lifetime. The City is trying to get a hanldle on the blight now, but it's been far too long in coming, and way too many who live here have become entrenched in their self-created squalor and simply are content to live that way.

But hey, there will be nice pond and beach at Lago Mar!

Ron Shelby

As long as it’s not eligible as some type of TIRZ expenditure. If it is, it means that both city and county governments are paying for this expense.

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