While 2008 was floated as the initial construction date for Leonardo DiCaprio’s new eco-resort in Belize, it now appears that early 2009 will be the ground breaker. Ever since the actor scooped up the 104-acre Blackadore Caye island for $1.75 million in 2005, environmentalists have been split on his development plans. On one hand, you have a sustainable resort that’s a premier model for future worldwide projects. On the other, you’re effectively developing a pristine island. To skirt the lines, DiCaprio is hoping to effectively balance the two.
New details released shed a bit more light on what Leo’s green resort plans include. From The Private Islands Blog:
Structures will be carefully integrated into the landscape so local wildlife and vegetation are disturbed to a minimum, and the island will be a test bed for innovative green technologies such as hybrid power systems. Several banks of solar panels will run down the airstrip which will provide power supplemented by wind power and bio-diesel.
Developments costs are expected to come in at around $30 million. Las Vegas hotelier and entrepreneur Andrew Sasson is taking the lead on managing the construction. Architectural design for the project is being done by architectural firm Three in Dallas Texas, headed by Gary P. Koerner, and James Hyatt at the Valley Crest Design Group Studio. Ultimately, the resort will be known as the The Four Seasons Blackadore Caye. Jump here for more details.
One more note: The article states, “The island’s length makes it one of the few island’s off Belize’s sparkling Caribbean coast with the ‘length and integrity’ to support the take-off and landing of private jets.” Let’s hope Leo encourages use of Belize’s fine air service. I’ve flown there commercial before and then taken a puddle-jumper out to the islands without trouble. Chances are, wealthy celebs won’t bother — but it would be nice to see the resort offer such options nevertheless. Check out additional concept photos of Leo’s resort below — or for a flyover animated vid, jump here.