January 14, 2020

Coming in 2021: Crescent B Commons complete with chain grocery and an array of stores and services

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Previously published: April 10, 2019 BY EVAN WILLIAMS
Babcock Ranch Telegraph Correspondent

The shops in Crescent B Commons will compliment rather than compete with those in Founder’s Square. BABCOCK RANCH TELEGRAPH

The shops in Crescent B Commons will compliment rather than compete with those in Founder’s Square. BABCOCK RANCH TELEGRAPH

The Crescent B brand is traveling a lot farther than the ranchers who once burned it into the hide of Cracker cows on Babcock Ranch ever could have imagined.

Come the first quarter of 2021, Kitson & Partners, developers of the solar-powered frontporch town, will put the old brand above the sparkling new Crescent B Commons, a shopping center of more than 85,000 square feet to be anchored by a major grocery store chain.

The Commons will be at a new main entrance to Babcock Ranch, about a mile south of the current entrance off State Road 31, says Thomas Hoban, president and CIO of Kitson & Partners. That puts it about 6 miles north of the nearest shopping center with a supermarket: The Shops at Verandah, on State Road 80 in east Lee County.

“We’re thrilled. It’s a big endorsement for Babcock and great for homebuyers,” Mr. Hoban says. “To be able to bring something like this to our town this early, to land an 85,000-squarefoot shopping center after we only broke ground in 2015, is a major achievement.”


It’s not the only big endorsement, he adds. Babcock has been supported from the get-go by savvy investors in Florida’s future, including Century Link, which decided to step in and provide ultra-high-speed internet for every residence and all commercial ventures, and FPL, which built a field of solar panels about two-thirds of a square mile in size to provide as much or more energy than the entire town takes or will take out of the FPL system.

“It’s a very strong endorsement from a very strong third party that says, ‘We want to be at Babcock,’” he says.

Laura Keller, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Babcock Ranch, says residents are delighted. “The more amenities and services we can offer on site at Babcock Ranch, the better for everyone here,” she says.

The better for sales, too.

“Typically what we’ve seen in other projects where good shopping is available close by, it makes the purchasing decision easier for homebuyers. Publix at Veranda is not far down the road, but this creates convenience even closer.”

Founder’s Square on Lake Babcock will continue to serve as the “downtown” of Babcock Ranch. BABCOCK RANCH TELEGRAPH

Founder’s Square on Lake Babcock will continue to serve as the “downtown” of Babcock Ranch. BABCOCK RANCH TELEGRAPH

The Shops at Veranda is home to four restaurants, a liquor store, a pool supply store, a Publix and several other stores. Nearby are a dry cleaner, a bank and a gas station/convenience store.

Stores in the Crescent B Commons will provide a wide range of basic-needs shopping, too, not only for Babcock residents but for people throughout the region as well.

“Think about it as like a place where you lived and grew up, with a grocery-anchored center that caters to your daily needs — your salons, dry cleaners, restaurants, banks, that sort of thing,” says Mr. Hoban. “The sort of place your parents shopped every weekend.”

Situated at a corner near the new main gate, the grocery store itself will inhabit almost 51,500 square feet and include a drive-thru pharmacy. Outparcel space now available for lease will be suitable for restaurants or commercial space.

Crescent B Commons will align with the Babcock Ranch vision and vernacular style, Mr. Hoban adds.

The shops in the Commons will compliment rather than compete with those in Founder’s Square, including the acclaimed Table & Tap restaurant with its lake-view verandah and such shops as Slater’s Goods & Provisions, Square Scoops Coffee & Creamery and Curry Creek Outfitters.

The Commons will also have two distinct outdoor seating areas where shoppers can relax and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.

And all of it will be accessible to the rest of Babcock Ranch, meaning residents and visitors will never have to get out on the highway to go from one place to another within Babcock Ranch.

The road leading into Babcock from the new entrance will connect residences to Founder’s Square and Crescent B Commons and also to Babcock Neighborhood School, a key element in a homogeneous community.

One of the new features suggesting how far Babcock Ranch’s planners have gone to help residents divest themselves from car dependency includes autonomous vehicles serving the shopping center: They’ll pick up shoppers from their homes or a designated location, deliver them to Crescent B Commons and return them home when they wish. No need to drive.

Also planned are grocery/goods delivery service, car rentals by the hour or day and other “mobility solutions” that encourage the healthiest, most grounded lifestyle and reduce the need for car ownership in the new town.

The planned new shopping center comes at a good time, since demographers expect Lee and Charlotte counties together to number more than 1.3 million in population within the next 15 years.

Randy Thibault, president and CEO of LSI companies, which analyzes trends in both commercial and residential real estate, says development from now on will have characteristics it did not have in the last 30 years, or ever — characteristics such as much greater density in living, shopping and working.

“The trend is to increase density where shopping and living and working is,” Mr. Thibault says. “So we’ll see some growth and transition eastward from the traditional living centers and we’ll see some ag land — Babcock Ranch, Ave Maria the Corkscrew Road area — we’ll see those places in demand for a variety of other housing and living types.”

For more information about Southwest Florida’s new hometown northeast of Fort Myers off State Road 31, visit the Discovery Center inside Woodlea Hall at 42850 Crescent Loop in Babcock Ranch, visit or call 877- 709-6620.