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Luxury condominiums in São Paulo invest in 1,000-meter-long wave pool

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A residential condominium in Itupeva, an inland São Paulo city that became a millionaires’ stronghold in the pandemic, is now home to an artificial beach capable of producing different types of waves, pledging to please even professional surfers.

The undertaking was built by KSM, which has Oscar Segall behind it, one of the founders of the Klabin Segall construction company, sold in 2009.

Praia da Grama artificial beach. (Photo internet reproduction)

The artificial beach comprises 1 km of shoreline and covers 28,000 m2, which forms the “sea”. The R$160 (US$32.4) million investment includes the cost of technology, the construction equipment, and the artificial beach.

“With Covid-19, people’s mentality about life has changed. Demand was way above average,” says Oscar Segall. Before the pandemic, 67 lots were sold. In 2020 and this year in phase 3 of the subdivision expansion, 130 more were sold, reaching a General Sales Value (GSV) of R$220 million.

For phase 4, yet to be sold, the projected value stands at around R$450 million. The executive says that the enterprise’s success has led other residential condominiums, such as Fazenda Boa Vista, to analyze an investment in this type of beach.


According to Segall, the project’s challenge was to adjust the price of the m2 in order to make the undertaking profitable. At the time, the price per m2 sold ranged from R$300 to R$400. To make the artificial beach viable, a much higher price of R$800 was required.

The solution found was to create bonds for Praia da Grama, granted to owners who already had land. The new owners acquired the bonds at that time for R$800,000.

As of the development’s phase 3, the bond is incorporated into the property’s value. The price per m2, which started at R$800, is currently negotiated at around R$2,000.

With higher demand, the executive says that the installation of artificial beaches in other locations is under consideration, such as Belo Horizonte and Nova Lima, in Minas Gerais. Plans include the launching of parks or even multi-ownership enterprises (when buyers share the property ownership with other owners).

Spanish technology

To build the wave pool, KSM partnered with Spanish company Wavegarden, which has 4 parks open to the public worldwide with technology similar to that of Praia da Grama. They are located in Melbourne, Australia; Bristol, England; South Korea; and Sion, in the Swiss Alps.

Praia da Grama, in Brazil, is the first within a residential complex. After the development’s success, KSM closed a contract to represent the Spanish brand in Brazil for the next 10 years.

Wavegarden’s CEO and founder Josema Odriozola says that the perspectives are positive for the business in Brazil, because of the climate and the surfing tradition in the country. “Brazil is the only country with which we have a commercial agreement. Brazil is currently one of our most important markets,” says Odriozola.

Given the expectation of growth, the company is considering producing the equipment for the construction of the artificial beach, which would lower the investment value.

Wavegarden’s artificial waves are not the only ones in the world. One of its competitors is the Kelly Slater Wave Company, which has one of the most famous names in world surfing behind it. Surfer Kelly Slater has teamed up with companies to launch such ventures.

The main difference, according to KSM’s Segall, is the timing and number of waves. Slater’s pools have a wave every 4 minutes. Wavegarden’s pools produce a wave every 8 seconds.

Real estate specialist Alberto Ajzental says that luxury residential condominiums have sought to differentiate themselves. If before the added attraction was golf courses or stud farms, now it may be wave pools. “The development offers something exclusive, which provides its own identity,” he says.

Medium and high-end real estate launches continue to grow, according to data from the Brazilian Association of Real Estate Companies (ABRAINC). In the first quarter, 7,386 units were launched, 65% more than in the same period of 2020. However, sales dropped 4% to 4,571.

Source: Exame

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