Rendering: McLennan Design via New York Times
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is opening an eco-conscious resort in Belize in 2018.
The frequent Oscar nominee and environmental activist purchased Blackadore Caye, an unpopulated 104-acre island, in 2005.
DiCaprio is now teaming up with Paul Scialla, chief executive of New York City-based developer Delos, to erect a lush resort that’s actually sustainable, the New York Times reported. Blackadore Caye is located between mainland Belize and Ambergris Caye, near the celebrated Barrier Reef.
“The main focus is to do something that will change the world,” DiCaprio told the Times. “I couldn’t have gone to Belize and built on an island and done something like this, if it weren’t for the idea that it could be groundbreaking in the environmental movement.”
DiCaprio and Scialla tapped Jason F. McLennan as the lead architect and designer for “Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island.” There will be 68 guest villas constructed on top of a huge platform that arcs over the water, with artificial reefs and fish shelters below. The villas will have access to almost a mile of private beach, grassland and jungle. The resort complex will also include 48 vacation homes, priced from $5 million to $15 million.
The development will feature a nursery that will grow indigenous marine grass for a manatee conservation area, and crews will replant native mangrove trees, which have been depleted in recent years. About 45 percent of the island will be protected as conservation area.
The project has been a decade in the making; after first visiting Belize in 2005, DiCaprio bought Blackadore Caye for $1.75 million in partnership with Jeff Gram, who owns the luxurious Cayo Espanto private island resort three miles from San Pedro. DiCaprio planned to team up with Four Seasons Hotels, but the deal ultimately fizzled.
The new resort will be developed by Scialla’s Restorative Islands LLC and operated by Restorative Hospitality, a division of Delos. DiCaprio has served on the advisory board for Delos’ New York project 66 East 11th Street, the world’s first “WELL Certified” residences. The Greenwich Village building, which started sales in 2013, offers five loft-style units priced from $14.5 million, with more than 50 “wellness amenities.” The clean-living features include vitamin C-infused showers, purified air and water, posture-supportive flooring, a kitchen herbarium and dawn simulation provided by a proprietary circadian lighting design. The building’s 7,693-square-foot, four-bedroom penthouse is currently on the market for $39.8 million, about 20 percent lower than its original asking price of $50 million in September 2013.