July 26, 2017

Discovery Center a must-see first stop for visitors to Babcock Ranch

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

7/26/2017 Real Estate News Fort Myers Florida Weekly

For visitors to Babcock Ranch, a tour of the Discovery Center in Woodlea Hall at Founder’s Square in the town’s Downtown District is a must-see first stop. The Discovery Center is the focal point for obtaining information about Babcock Ranch, an 18,000-acre solar powered town being developed by Kitson & Partners 20 minutes east of Fort Myers off Florida State Road 31 in Charlotte County just north of the Lee Civic Center. The Center’s sales concierges and town ambassadors present the Babcock Ranch story, including how the town originated, Kitson’s commitment to preserving the environment, the advanced technologies incorporated in the community, and Babcock’s residences include twin villa and single-family homes base-priced from $180,000 to more than $500,000.

Visitors to the Center are greeted in an area with a living wall that incorporates vegetation from the property. A circular reception desk provides highly visible access to visitors arriving via the building’s front or rear entrances. A FPL education kiosk offers a visual explanation of how the Babcock Solar Center is delivering clean energy to the town. The ambassadors navigate a touch-screen presentation that addresses life at Babcock. A sliding barn door opens to the Curry Creek Outfitters store that serves those eager to enjoy Babcock’s nature trails and lakes.

As visitors approach Babcock’s entry bridge, they are treated to views of a waterscape and the Lake House recreation center scheduled for completion in August. The feeling of entering a place offering a better way of living is palpable. The tree-lined streetscape provides a connection with nature as it makes its way past Lake Timber, Babcock’s first neighborhood. Eleven completed models showcase the town’s Craftsman, Farmhouse, Coastal, Spanish, and Colonial/West Indies architectural styles. Grouped around Lake Timber’s parks, the homes and their inviting front porches are positioned close to the street to encourage social interaction.

 Lake Timber residents will enjoy a fishing pier, a trail head providing access to the trail network, an approximately 100 x 50-foot neighborhood produce garden, and a nearly 1.5-acre Rain Garden. The Rain Garden is a shallow basin planted with several types of deep-rooted native wildflowers, broadleaf littoral plantings and reforested pine trees. The garden captures and treats storm water that flows from a portion of Lake Babcock Drive.

Founder’s Square, a lakefront green space, anchors the Downtown District and features a band shell, boardwalk, splash pad, picnic tables, and shady areas for relaxing. Music is featured at the band shell Tuesday and Saturday evenings. The Babcock Neighborhood School, Slater’s Goods & Provisions, and The Hatchery that offers emeritus-level consultative opportunities will open this summer. The Table & Tap restaurant provides an indoor and outdoor lakefront dining experience as well as a beer garden.