November 04, 2016

Models, infrastructure and downtown area are progressing at Babcock Ranch

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Naples Daily News 10-30-2016

BABCOCK RANCH, Fla. — As Homes by Towne, Stock Development, Fox Premier Builders and Florida Lifestyle Homes continue to build new furnished model residences in the community’s Lake Timber neighborhood, master developer Kitson & Partners announced that infrastructure installation and construction of Phase I of the Downtown District continue to progress as scheduled at Babcock Ranch, a new 18,000-acre eco-centric, solar powered town being developed by Kitson east of Fort Myers, State Road 31 in Charlotte County.

Lake Timber is the first residential neighborhood to be built at Babcock Ranch. Completed furnished models are expected to be open for viewing in early 2017. Each home at Babcock Ranch is being built to Florida Green Building Coalition Certification standards. Purchase agreements will be accepted beginning in November.

Improvements to the State Road 31 turn lane at the primary entry to Babcock Ranch have been completed and paving of Babcock Drive, the town’s main thoroughfare, has been completed from State Road 31 to Founder’s Square at the heart of the Downtown District. Landscaping of the streetscape continues to progress. A dozen oaks 30 to 40 feet tall harvested on the property, over 100 palmetto bushes, and more than 500 additional trees have been planted along the roadway. Irrigation systems have been installed and construction of the town’s signature bridge that will showcase views of Lake Babcock and Lake Timber is nearing completion. Construction of the Sunset Park Trailhead that will provide access to the town’s 50-mile network of nature trails is underway. Cable and fiber that will provide ultra-high speed internet access to every home at Babcock Ranch is in the process of being pulled within Lake Timber. Florida Power & Light’s transformers have been installed in Lake Timber and will be operational in November. Construction of a boardwalk along the banks of Lake Babcock at Founder’s Square is underway.

The Town & Country Utility Site’s raw water pumps along Hercules Grade are now operational and will supply potable water to the community. Power has been run to the water treatment building and the treatment plant is on schedule for completion by the end of the year.

Construction of Woodlea Hall, Babcock Ranch’s first civic building and home to the town’s information center and Kitson & Partners’ development offices, is underway and scheduled for completion by Feb. 1, 2017. The foundation and inground utilities at the 9,191-square-foot two-story building have been completed, the first-floor slab has been poured, and structural steel is being erected. The interior of the first-floor information center is being designed by Michael Hayes and C. Chad Elkins at Hayes Elkins Design in collaboration with Interior Design Broker Jo Carter at International Design Source in Naples. Visitors to the information center will be greeted in a conversation area with a Living Wall that incorporates vegetation from the property and the sound of water to acknowledge Kitson & Partners’ commitment to preservation. Town ambassadors will be available to answer questions and to assist visitors with navigating through a non-linear touch-screen presentation that addresses all aspects of life at Babcock Ranch in a nearby interaction area. A break area will include a bar with bar stool seating. As planned, meeting space will be available in a conference room that will include a live edge wood table branded with the Babcock Ranch logo. A circular reception desk will be in the center of the space to provide easy and highly visible access to visitors arriving via either the building’s front or rear entrances. The reception desk will be clad with pre-aged corrugated steel that will provide a connection to the metal roofs that were so prevalent in the past. A nearby virtual area will allow homebuyers to envision how their home will be situated and how it would look within the neighborhood streetscape. Another conversation area will function as a consumer connection space with charging stations for tablet devices and cellular phones. A sliding barn door will offer an entry point to an adjacent outfitters store that will provide hiking gear and apparel.

Construction of the Downtown District’s Table and Tap restaurant fronting Lake Babcock is also underway and on schedule for completion by Feb. 1, 2017. The restaurant will include 3,617 square feet of interior dining space under air with seating for 56 and 19 bar seating spaces, an outdoor lakefront dining area measuring 1,668 square feet with seating for 82, and a 1,280-square-foot beer garden with seating for 34. The restaurant’s roof trusses and sheathing have been completed. Interior stud framing is underway and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing roughin have begun. API (+) Design’s Thomas Henken, director of design and vice president, and Judy Norlin, Leed AP and studio director, have created the restaurant’s milieu. Table & Tap’s interior architecture will reflect the look of a relaxed and familiar lake house that has had a number of rooms added on over time. Table & Tap will present a series of semi-casual and more formal dining areas that present spaces that seem to have shifted in function over time without losing their sense of comfort. Outdoor dining seating and the beer garden will offer lakefront views adjacent to the green space at Founder’s Square.

Permitting for a destination in the Downtown District that will feature a coffee shop, grab and go items, and an ice cream shop, is in process. Construction of the 10,567-square-foot venue is expected to begin late 2016 or early 2017 with completion anticipated by third quarter 2017.

The Babcock Neighborhood School will open in the fall of 2017 and a Wellness Center is scheduled for completion in spring 2018. Situated on the banks of its namesake, the Lake Timber neighborhood’s residences will line streetscapes dotted with parks. Lakefront green spaces and pathways, trail head facilities, a dog park, a lakeside fishing dock, an observation deck, and Babcock Ranch’s first town garden will provide opportunities for connecting with nature.

Lake Timber’s Lake House neighborhood center includes a lakefront pool, barbecue area and playground. Construction of Lake House by Fox Premier Builders is expected to begin the first week of November. Designed by Timberbuilt, construction will combine an Insulspan SIP Panel Construction process with hybrid timber framing, timber exterior finishes, and interior beamed ceiling details while leaving a minimal carbon footprint. Due to the accelerated construction process afforded by the SIP technology, the Lake House is expected to be completed in first quarter 2017. The Lake Timber neighborhood is a short walk or bike ride from Babcock’s Downtown District and Founder’s Square, alakefront green space that will serve as a town-wide gathering place, the site of community events, concerts, and a place to simply relax and enjoy the lake views. Online at