Get All Access for $5/mo

An Underwater Property in Florida Is Going for $43 Million. The Developer Calls It a 'Unicorn.' The pristine parcel sits along, er, below the coveted Intercoastal Waterway in Boca Raton.

By Jonathan Small

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Four acres of beautiful waterfront land in Boca Raton, Florida, is on the market for $43 million.

There's only one issue—it's largely underwater.

Image credit: William Swain via The Real Deal

Giving new meaning to the term "underwater mortgage," real estate manager William Swaim of Waterfront ICW Properties is offering the submerged land for developing single-family homes.

Swaim calls the property a "unicorn" due to its location and relatively inexpensive price tag. The parcel sits along the Intracoastal Waterway, a series of inlets and canals that wealthy residents use to dock their boats and yachts. Home prices in the area have appreciated monthly by more than 10 percent over the past 18 months. A mansion can go for as much as $18 million a pop.

Swaim, who specializes in buying and reselling flooded land, said the area is the "last and largest undeveloped Boca Raton Intracoastal property for sale in 30 years."

But he also warns that anyone buying the property will have their work cut out for them.

"Submerged parcels are a headache," Swaim told The Palm Beach Post. "It takes years to clean them up, and most people don't want to take years to clean them up."

His company will build a seawall and fill the dirt for an additional $3.5 million.

Why is the property underwater?

Swaim's land wasn't always beneath the sea. The property was above ground until 1957, but an apparently greedy neighbor stole the dirt to build a nearby subdivision, Swaim told The Post.

Some local activists are concerned that overdeveloping properties such as these can harm wildlife.

"Manatees are dying at record rates because of impacts to their habitat, and increasing development on submerged lands is only going to compound that problem," said Everglades Law Center Executive Director Lisa Interlandi.

But a 2018 Army Corps review concluded that developing the land would not adversely affect endangered and threatened sea turtles, smalltooth sawfish, or manatees.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.

Business News

'Passing By Wide Margins': Elon Musk Celebrates His 'Guaranteed Win' of the Highest Pay Package in U.S. Corporate History

Musk's Tesla pay package is almost 140 times higher than the annual pay of other high-performing CEOs.

Business News

Joey Chestnut Is Going From Nathan's to Netflix for a Competition 15 Years in the Making

Chestnut was banned from this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest due to a "rival" contract. Now, he'll compete in a Netflix special instead.


Are Your Business's Local Listings Accurate and Up-to-Date? Here Are the Consequences You Could Face If Not.

Why accurate local listings are crucial for business success — and how to avoid the pitfalls of outdated information.

Money & Finance

Day Traders Often Ignore This One Topic At Their Peril

Boring things — like taxes — can sometimes be highly profitable.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.