Leonardo DiCaprio really loves the natural world. Last month he gave $50,000 to Adrian Grenier's Kickstarter project to locate an elusive whale, and this month he announced he'll be opening an eco resort on the private, 104-acre Belizean island, Blackadore Caye, that he bought in 2005. "The main focus is to do something that will change the world," Mr. DiCaprio told the New York 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." The luxury resort, which will have villas on a platform over the water, artificial reefs with "fish shelters," and a nursery growing marine grass to feed manatees, is expected to open in 2018.
DiCaprio reportedly purchased the unpopulated island, along with a partner, for just $1.75M. He originally struck a deal with the Four Seasons to build a resort there, but it never worked out. Now he is working with the NYC developers Delos to build 68 resort villas and 48 private houses to sell, which the Times reports will cost between $5M and $15M each. The principal architect and designer is Jason F. McLennan, author of The Philosophy of Sustainable Design.
The new idea is to build a development that is not just sustainable but "restorative." Translation: mangrove trees will be replanted, scientists will study the resort's effect on its surroundings, and conservation areas to rehabilitate the area, which has been over-fished, will be created. The "Wolf of Wall Street" actor has enlisted none other than Deepak Chopra to create a wellness and naturally, an anti-aging, program for the resort. Guests at DiCaprio's earthly paradise will have nearly a mile of private beach on which to frolic.