Aerial view of a manmade crystal lagoon

Medley at Southshore Bay will soon be the second Florida community with its own crystal lagoon.

Sometimes, a swimming pool is not enough. The newest trend in active adult community amenities seems to be something far more extravagant: a man-made lagoon.

Buyers looking for Tampa Bay real estate in a 55+ community now have two places in the area that offer these lagoons. Medley at Southshore Bay in Wimauma will join Medley at Mirada in San Antonio, Florida as the second 55+ community to offer a luxurious and relaxing lagoon covering several acres.

Ground broke on the Southshore lagoon early in May, and since more than 100 homes at the new construction community have already begun selling, builders and residents are anxious to have the work complete.

Imagining a Crystal Lagoon

The technology that delivers crystal-clear water features to the manufactured lagoon comes from Chile. It’s environmentally-friendly, using less energy, less water, and fewer chemicals than what you’d find in a backyard or public swimming pool. Residents can feel like they’re on the beach; there’s a bit of pristine white sand leading to the clear turquoise waters that are calm, inviting, and warmed by the bright central Florida sun.

Lagoons can include swim-up bars, private soaking nooks, and other customized features. The lagoon under construction in Medley at Southshore Bay will be five and a half acres and designed with the needs and desires of active adults in mind.

Medley is the 55+ builder for Lennar Corporation, and the active adult community at Southshore will also welcome homes from D.R. Horton and Holiday Homes. The developers envision a structure where residents can pay an minimal monthly fee in addition to their homeowners’ association dues to use the lagoon.

It will likely cost as little as $30 per month for residents. Since this is a special feature that’s hard to find in many communities, the lagoon may be open to neighbors, who will be required to pay a higher daily entrance fee.

Updating and Modernizing Amenities

Florida retirement communities are keeping up with the trends in what buyers want and expect. Pickleball has recently replaced shuffleboard as the go-to competitive and social sport for active adults, and it’s possible crystal lagoons will eventually be more popular than swimming pools or spas. It’s unlikely that the basic swimming pool will ever be replaced or rejected completely, but the lagoon offers something special that sets one community apart from its competing neighborhoods.

Golf courses are still something that active adults might look for when they’re shopping for a 55+ community, but not everyone golfs. Some buyers will go out of their way to avoid communities with golf courses. They tend to drive up traffic and fees, and it’s not a sport that everyone enjoys. Crystal Lagoons and amenities like them can be interesting and new to a larger number of people. Other unique amenities that are popular and not always common include lap or resistance pools, community gardens, and fishing piers.

Medley at Southshore Bay

The crystal lagoon is a major selling point for Medley at Southshore Bay, but it’s not the only thing that the community has going for it. The development will feature 655 single-family and attached homes.

The Villas offer three floor plans from 1,396 to 1,729 square feet and featuring two bedrooms. They start in the high $100s. The Manors collection has five floor plans with two or three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. They are between 1,683 and 2,366 square feet and range in price from the mid $200s to the low $300s.

Finally, there is the Estates Collection, with four floor plans and price tags in the $300s. These homes have three bedrooms and garage space for two or three cars. Square footage starts at 2,216 and goes to 2,775.

More than 135 homes are currently under contract, and 76 have already closed.

In addition to the Crystal Lagoon, other amenities in Medley at Southshore Bay include a clubhouse with a fitness center and multipurpose rooms, a pool and patio with a tiki bar, tennis courts, a dog park, and bocce, pickleball, and volleyball.

The community is close to shopping, grocery stores, restaurants, nature preserves, and less than half an hour from downtown Tampa. Wimauma is close to Apollo Beach and the Manatee Viewing Center.  

The Crystal Lagoon at Wimauma’s newest 55+ community will be the first in Hillsborough County. The one at Medley at Mirada, in Pasco County, will be more than twice as big and the largest lagoon of its kind in the entire state of Florida.