Creating an island from scratch seems like a strange concept, and yet the possibilities are endless—from flood protection and military bases to tourist havens and residential projects (think Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah and Miami Beach’s Star Island). From studying the waves and the ocean’s behavior to scraping sand from the ocean floor and relocating it via hydraulics, it takes a serious feat of engineering to create an artificial island. A stone barrier designed to filter out water and debris becomes the perimeter of the island, which is then filled in with compacted sand for a solid plot of land meant to support entire communities.
Now, Latin America has its very first pair of artificial real estate islands—appropriately named Ocean Reef Islands, a residential community built off the coast of Panama City. Conceived by real estate developer Grupo Los Pueblos, the two islets encompass 46 acres and are connected to the historical metropolis by a 500-foot bridge. One of the highlights of life on the islands is proximity to the Panama Canal, which regularly sees the likes of ocean liners and sailing yachts, connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and provides offshore exploration from Panama.
Sales for the first island were a large success as all of the home-sites already sold and only a handful of the Garden Apartments (starting at $1.3 million) are still available. Owners will have access to a swimming pool, a mini golf course, and the rooftop’s glistening infinity pool. The second island, which is still in the construction phase, has 65 oceanfront lots priced from $3.7 million that range in size from 9,145 to 13,454 square feet. Buyers can create their dream home or vacation retreat in partnership with the island’s Design Review Committee, ensuring high-quality building execution and aesthetically pleasing architecture.
Several ocean-facing condos will range from $1.3 million to $1.9 million. The luxurious penthouses (from $1.9 million) provide 360-degree views of the water and the prominent city skyline, which are best seen from the private rooftop terraces with swimming pools. Furnished with contemporary art and sleek design schemes, each residential building boasts a social area, a pool, and multiple lounge areas. A few residences even come equipped with a private dock and jet-ski slips.
Amenities will be open to all residents and include a private concierge service, an on-site restaurant, a full-service spa, gym facilities, a resort-style pool, a private yacht club, tennis courts, and social spaces scattered about the palm-fringed islands. A 200-slip marina will accommodate a range of boats, mega-yachts, a supply store, and a fueling station, as well as scuba diving trips and a yacht charter service. Move-in dates have already started for the Garden Apartments on the first island, and all the remaining properties will be ready to move into by 2019.