Garden island

I want to tell you about the homes on Garden island, one of many similar islands within the floating kingdom.

The island is elliptical, a stretched circle, with high outside walls and lower center. The outer wall contains the majority of the housing, the lower floor and first 2 levels underground being one house and the next three floors up a separate home, but with a ramp down. The lower property has a garden outside and the ramp of the higher one goes down to a garden to the rear of this, neither of these are very large, but large enough to sit in and  have a few shrubs or pot plants, behind these are a common area, that all the properties have access to which are large lawns with flower beds, statutes and a few fountains. At the very center is a community hall and outdoor pool and under that some common areas we all can use.

Access to the houses is via a stairway or lift, to a lower floor that has storage space, and access to the boat dock, as well as the shared areas. 

The effect of the houses being all around the edge is to make the gardens extremely sheltered, and act as a sun trap, which means we have flowers and shrubs in blossom throughout the year.

This island was far cheaper than many to make, and is no where near as high as many, so although having far fewer homes and no bridge, the homes were also far cheaper to buy and really excellent value. About half of the houses are used as holiday homes so we have loads of space. A group of us who are resident here got together and bought a few of them some of which we let out as holiday homes and a couple we keep for relatives and friends to visit.

I have been looking at a new garden island with a group of others and we hope to be able to join forces in its development.

The deal here is quite simple we have to build two, one we get to sell or let out and the other we give to the state, and they let out the units producing an income instead of needing to raise tax. 

The islands we are looking at will start off on land as a piece that looks a bit like a flying saucer, but with wires sticking out all around the edge, and some on top, this will then be towed out here, as its water tight it cannot sink. Once out here more sections get added to it to get up to what will be the water level and boat docks, and the unit all divided up inside so it is made up of a whole collection of sealed tank compartments. All this is basically made of layers of chicken wire and cement, with sealable manhole cover type doors.

On land in a land country where labor is not too expensive we are getting pods created, these are units that are rooms, which are all fitted out, they will arrive by container ship. and be added to the island as outside walls each level fitted in having services connected and being cemented in. The shared facilities in the center will be constructed in a similar way and a large play area added to cover the center area.

Our island is to have 7 levels of holiday apartments all with access to shared conservatories at ground level, and to the shared facilities below. Above this three floors above ground level we are putting three level homes, covered walk way around the lower of these levels and four long ramps down to the central areas.

In total we are building 10 floors + boat dock level above water level, with the garden level at 4 levels up above the boat dock. The gardens will be really nice with a central wood, there are four recreation areas, one has barbeque units, one a pool and sun loungers, one a club house, and the fourth a café.  Under ground we will have a larger hall, cinema, indoor pool with water slides and two small shops, and our own letting agency.

The garden will be constructed all from items brought in and shrubs and trees will be already near to their final size. Eventually gravel that is to be imported will be dropped into some of the underwater containers to both level up the island and sink it to the right level. Although this means we will have to take gravel out later as the trees grow, this is a cheaper arrangement than installing balancing tanks and pumps.

Services will be plugged into a larger island next to us and we are adding a foot bridge to the same island. 

We are going to market the units as a home for you and 7 flats that are let out providing an income to you. Each set being a vertical stack, and coming off a shared lift and stair set to the lower level and boat dock. The central services including letting agency and pool etc will all be a jointly owned trust by all the owners, and the shops and cafe will be let out.

The cost for people choosing this we are pricing at the equivalent of a similar house in a mainland city, and we expect a lot of those taking it up to be people moving out and capitalizing on their property assets at home. 

We are going to sell our current home and by using our share of the development profits to have one of the stacks ourselves, I am also looking at gearing the finances so I can get a second stack, which would let me let out one house and 14 holiday apartments. 

As to time scale it will take quite a few months, and it could be 18 months before we could move in. 

The tempting thing is to keep adding to the design, you know what I mean you see an island with a stream or waterfall and you want one, someone has put in an ice rink, or a revolving viewing platform or whatever, and you keep being temped to make your island really special in some way. You don't need it though it is fine as it is, and better to get it built than to keep fiddling with the design.

Later postscript

Development is going fine, a few people dropped out and we had to find replacement consortium members but that was not difficult, we have done a letting deal on the apartments for both our islands and the governments with a nearby resort island that needed the space so all units are let for the next 5 years at least and on the basis of that I was able to fund 3 stacks, so have in total 21 apartments all let, a house to live in and 2 houses to let. We expect to move in the month after next.

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Last updated: October 09, 2002.