October 18, 2017

Growth and preservation work hand in hand at Babcock Ranch

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

By Florida Weekly Staff | on October 18, 2017

Babcock Ranch Preserve

Top: The new town is designed to be an environmentally-friendly neighbor for the Babcock Ranch Preserve. Immediately below: Classic-styled homes are powered by the sun and wired for the future. Below: The general store at Babcock Ranch, “Slaters Goods and Provisions,” is a place to pick up daily necessities and learn a bit about the ranch’s history.

Babcock Ranch is rooted in preservation. The environmentally-friendly new town arising northeast of Fort Myers off State Road 31 is part of what made it possible for Florida to complete the largest preservation land purchase in state history and establish the 73,000 acre Babcock Ranch Preserve.

babcock ranch homes

There was never any question that nature would play a starring role in daily life at Babcock Ranch. With a mission of creating a town that would be a perfect neighbor for the preserve, planners have woven sustainability right into the infrastructure. From the Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center that powers energy-efficient homes and businesses to the 50 miles of trails for exploring the 9,000 acres of shared natural spaces that run through and surround the town – Kitson & Partners is creating a whole new model for smart, sustainable growth.

slaters goods and provisions

And, while the town is brand-new, it is the next chapter in an already rich history which you can see celebrated all around town. Take a stroll through Founder’s Square and you might notice that “Crescent Loop” is located at the apex of “B” street – a nod to the “Crescent B” that branded cattle that grazed here over the past century. Stop by “Slater’s Goods and Provisions” and you’ll learn about Bo Slater, the cattleman who worked at various Babcock family ranches for 57 years.

Babcock Ranch is designed to nurture social as well as natural connections. You won’t find any gates here. It’s a real town with homes within walking distance of shops, restaurants and school. Front porches situated more closely to the street, pocket parks, neighborhood gardens and the buzz of activity at Founder’s Square all add up to a classic hometown experience where you can once again get to know your neighbors.

The classic styled homes along broad sidewalks harken back to simpler times, but below the surface Babcock Ranch is all about the future. The unprecedented technological infrastructure electronically coordinates energy, water, transportation and safety systems. High-speed fiber-optic equips ever home and business with extraordinary bandwidth supporting lightning-fast data speeds, mobile apps and global connectivity to free Wi-Fi – allowing residents to be as connected with the outside world as they want to be. It is this surprising melding of modern technology and timeless hometown charm that is the defining characteristic of this innovative new town that will ultimately include 19,500 homes, nearly 50,000 residents and 6 million square feet of commercial space.

And whenever it is time to unplug, nature is just outside the door.

“I believe people want ways to connect with nature, to leave everything else behind and recharge,” said Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners. “Babcock Ranch is all about the great outdoors. Living in a town with half of its total area dedicated to green space, residents can walk out their door and truly immerse themselves in nature without leaving their neighborhood.”