December 27,2017 - Babcock Ranch, the solar town, ramps up in 2018

, CLOGAN@NEWS-PRESS.COM Published 7:45 a.m. ET Dec. 26, 2017 | Updated 8:00 a.m. ET Dec. 26, 2017

curriculum. Andrea Melendez/

It’s not every year a new town starts to take shape.

For Babcock Ranch, a solar-powered community in the works for more than a decade, 2017 turned out to be the year it visually became a town thanks to a restaurant, a school and a community gathering space.

As 2018 starts, its status will jump up a notch with the addition of the first townspeople, the most important component of any community.

The town, with its first residents excited to move in Jan. 4, is along the Charlotte County-Lee County line east of State Road 31.

The News-Press toured the development recently to see what’s happening and what’s in store for 2018 and beyond.

store for 2018 and beyond.

The town, to be built on an 18,000-acre expanse, is expected to have 19,500 homes and 50,000 residents in 20 to 25 years. There’s a lot that’s been done, but so much more to do in the years to come.

Syd Kitson, CEO of Kitson & Partners, discussed the latest developments during an interview in his second-floor office at Woodlea Hall. It is in Founder’s Square, the town hub.

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