2005 - 2009
The Early Years
On July 31, 2006, Kitson & Partners closed on the purchase of the 91,000-acre ranch from the Babcock family and then sold 73,000 acres to the state for permanent preservation. It was the largest land preservation deal in all of Florida’s history. Our plans for Babcock Ranch were to prove that responsible development and environmental stewardship can work together. In 2005 and 2006, Florida was growing at an unprecedented rate. Population growth rates hovered around 17% and incredible demand drove real estate prices through the roof. With homes selling as fast as they were built, there wasn’t much incentive for change. Smart growth in Florida was key, which we knew then and we know now. Then, the bubble burst and the recession happened. The real estate market plunged and it delayed our timeline. But through it all, the vision for Babcock Ranch remained the same.
FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center Groundbreaking
The FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center broke ground in October 2015. What began was the installation of 1 million solar panels that will power the future town of Babcock Ranch and surrounding areas. Through our partnership with FPL, the Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center will cover 440 acres in Charlotte County and will triple our solar capacity in 2016.
Kitson & Partners Groundbreaking
Planning for Babcock Ranch began in 2016, but official work began in November 2015. The site was prepped for the upcoming development efforts, including the restoration of historical flow ways/greenways, maintenance of surface water quality, enhancement of wildlife corridors and laying the groundwork for the April 22nd Earth Day Grand Reveal.
Earth Day 2016 was a historic day for Babcock Ranch. We unveiled our plans to the world for Babcock Ranch and all it will include. Syd Kitson, the leader behind Babcock Ranch’s development, spoke about the vision and future for Babcock Ranch. Introduced as the nation’s first town to run on solar, guests were introduced to the timelines and concepts for Babcock Ranch.
Babcock Neighborhood School Groundbreaking
Babcock Neighborhood School will offer education to children in grades K-8. BNS will prepare K-8 students to become independent, creative, and compassionate lifelong learners and leaders. Through green STEAM education, our educators will educate the whole child through an emphasis on independence, freedom, and respect for each child’s learning process.
Founders Square and Model Homes Open
Our builders are working toward a finish date of February 2017 for their model homes. Additionally, construction is making great progress for our future Founders Square storefronts and eateries. Expect to have dinner at our Table & Tap restaurant for Valentine’s Day in 2017.