Babcock Ranch Is Primed for Earth Day


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, March 10th, 2016 – With Florida having grown as the third most populous state in the nation and the influx of new residents to the Sunshine State expected to continue, the massive development that is Babcock Ranch couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Ground has finally been broken for this property in November 2015, and bigwigs including major players of Southwest Florida’s real the estate industry surely will flock to its official opening this April 22nd to coincide with the celebration of Earth Day.

A project of Palm Beach Gardens-based real estate development company Kitson & Partners, the Babcock Ranch community is being groomed as a “new city.” Sustainability is the core and mainspring of its development, which explains why the choice of Earth Day for its inaugural. Located in a sprawling 18,000-acre site between Charlotte and Lee Counties, this project looms as a changer whose impact could bring ripple effects to as far north as homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee, many industry observers believe.

Wide-ranging Home Choices

Babcock Ranch Is Primed for Earth Day

Compared to the master development of Lakewood Ranch, the Kitson project is 500 acres bigger, and it has outlined ambitious plans that promise to create a competitive home-buying destination in the Southwest Florida region. The developer disclosed that if everything pans out, Babcock Ranch could have 19,500 residences and 50,000 residents in 20 years or so.

In Kitson’s blueprint, these dwellings would come in varying styles, such as detached single family homes, condos, townhouses and cottages. These would cover all price points starting from the $200s and topping in the million-dollar range. The first home models, whose early renderings subscribe to the New Urbanist style, are slated for showing in early 2017.

Walkability Factored In

An engaging downtown, which would be within a five-minute walk at most from the residential neighborhoods, is set for Babcock Ranch. Also targeted toopen in the spring of 2017, this walkable downtown will include some 6 million square feet for commercial, office and retail space in order to weave this development as a self-contained community.

Also towards this end, Kitson has tapped New Jersey-based EXOS|MediFit to run Babcock Ranch’s 30,000-square-foot health and wellness center. This innovative community feature will not only support physical fitness activities and sports training but also provide medical and rehab facilities.

Strong Fusion with Nature

This project is likewise a cinch to win the eye of nature lovers and environmentalists. It is bordered by the 73,000-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve to the east and by the 75,000-acre Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area towards west. With this natural setting as backdrop, half of the Babcock Ranch development’s 18,000-acre footprint is devoted exclusively to greenways, parks and lakes and nature trails which would be accessible even to non-residents.

But even more telling in terms of sustainability, Babcock Ranch is priming itself to enter the history books as the first solar-powered city. Kitson has partnered with Florida Power and Light to set up a 75-megawatt solar photovoltaic power station in a 400-acre site adjacent to its property to supply all of Babcock Ranch’s electricity needs during daytime. At nighttime, the community’s power will be fed by the grid. Work on this solar power generation is also already well underway, surely one component that would be amongst the focal points as Babcock Ranch holds its inaugural come Earth Day this April.