February 06, 2017

Founder’s Square is the heart of Babcock Ranch

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Submitted by Caffrey & Associates 4:07 a.m. ET Feb. 4, 2017

babcock ranch aerial view

Founder’s Square will serve as a central gathering place and the site of community events and celebrations at Babcock Ranch.(Photo: Picasa)

BABCOCK RANCH — The band shell that will host concerts has been completed. On the opposite side of the green, a splash pad is nearly finished. Benches have been installed as well as a lakefront boardwalk at the northern edge of the green. This is Founder’s Square, the approximately 13-acre heart of the Downtown District at Babcock Ranch, a new eco-centric town being built by Kitson & Partners in Charlotte County east of Fort Myers off State Road 31. Babcock Ranch is the first solar powered town in the world and will ultimately include 19,500 homes, nearly 50,000 residents, and six million square feet of commercial space.

Kitson’s development strategy at Babcock Ranch is focused on creating a sense of place that will be embraced by residents and visitors alike. Founder’s Square epitomizes that vision. On a high level, it will serve as Babcock’s central gathering place and the site of community events and celebrations. Founder’s Square will be the anchor for every aspect of life in the new town.

Visitors and homebuyer prospects will visit the information center at Woodlea Hall, Babcock’s first civic building that is scheduled to be completed late this month and is situated on the western edge of Founder’s Square. Hikers, bikers, kayakers, boaters, and fishing enthusiasts will enjoy Curry Creek Outfitters that will be next door to Woodlea Hall. The lakefront Table & Tap restaurant, that is also scheduled for completion late this month, includes indoor and outdoor dining and a beer garden immediately adjacent to the green at Founder’s Square. A towering 80-year old oak tree transplanted from the Babcock property provides a backdrop for the beer garden.

Entrepreneurs will congregate at the Hatchery’s Encore Career Center, a place for the sharing of ideas and the creation of new enterprises. A 10,567-square-foot market, that will offer a coffee shop, grab and go items, and an ice cream shop, is slated for completion in July. The Babcock Neighborhood School will open in fall of this year across the street from Founder’s Square. And a Wellness Center is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2018 on the eastern edge of the Square.

With Founder’s Square, Kitson & Partners has created a true center of town, that place where all facets of life are shared and lifelong memories are created. Babcock Ranch is a town, not a gated community. Founder’s Square is an essential component in Kitson’s approach to town making at Babcock.

By design, the level of personal engagement visitors and residents will experience at Founder’s Square is also embedded in Babcock’s neighborhoods. The town’s architectural styles contribute to the sense of place Kitson is creating.

The Babcock style is derived from styles found in pre-World War II neighborhoods in Fort Myers, Naples and throughout Southwest Florida. Deep, open porches characteristic of these regional styles typically run the length of the front facade and sometimes wrap around one or both sides of the house, giving the homes their characteristic look. These regional design principles are applied to the town’s residential architectural styles – Craftsman, Farmhouse, Coastal Gulf Vernacular, Spanish, and Colonial/West Indies. Grouped around Babcock Ranch’s parks and streetscapes, the homes and their porches will be positioned tighter to the street and to encourage the social interaction, connectivity, and sense of belonging that are the essence of Babcock Ranch.

To learn more about living at the eco-centric, solar powered town being created by Kitson & Partners at Babcock Ranch, visit