Dubbed the first solar-powered town in the United States, the master-planned community of Babcock Ranch in Southwest Florida aims to set the standard in living harmoniously with nature.
Babcock Ranch was first inhabited in January, 2018 after more than 10 years of planning and construction. Occupying around 18,000 acres just 15 miles northwest of Fort Myers, this new community is set to become a city soon, and it will be the first of its kind.
The town is strictly powered by solar and natural gas, featuring the largest solar farm ever built by Florida Power and Light Public. It has received Platinum rating from the Florida Green Building Coalition, the highest given to any community or building. Half of the area is reserved for open spaces that will feature lakes, greeneries, and around 50 miles of trails.
Technology is an important feature in the community. In addition to solar energy infrastructures, residents enjoy gigabit fiber optic connectivity and free WiFi throughout the town. Babcock Ranch has also partnered with Transdev Services, Inc. to provide residents with shared transport using fully autonomous electric vehicles.
With a population of approximately 400 as of 2019, Babcock Ranch is projected to ultimately include 19,500 homes with 50,000 residents, and 6 million square feet of commercial space. Buildout is expected in 20 years.
Real estate in Babcock Ranch
Sustainability is the underlying feature of all homes in Babcock Ranch, defining everything from the architecture to the landscaping. Every property must have at least a bronze rating from the Florida Green Building Coalition.
Eight builders have been tapped to develop the homes in the community, including Lennar, Pulte Homes, and Meritage Homes. While most of the completed homes as of 2019 are single-family residences, there are plans to build villas, townhomes, and others, giving homebuyers more affordable options.
Buyers can choose from customizable floor plans offered by each builder community, with floor areas that range from around 1,680 square feet to 2,800 square feet. In addition to sustainable features, homes include the latest amenities and conveniences, including open floor plans, chef’s kitchens, and plenty of room and provisions for outdoor living.
Living in Babcock Ranch
Family and community-building take center stage in Babcock Ranch. From open spaces to top-rated schools, the town has everything you need for an idyllic and easygoing lifestyle.
Located right at the heart of the community, the charter school Babcock Neighborhood School provides holistic learning where the environment is the focus and where science, technology, and engineering are integrated and connected with mathematics and the arts.
A total of eight magnet schools belonging to the Charlotte County Public Schools school district are planned to be built in the community.
- Community activities
The main gathering place in Babcock Ranch is Founder’s Square, located along Lake Babcock. It features coffee and creamery shops, co-working and office spaces, an expansive lawn with a band shell, restaurants, and more. It is the site of many community events and is home to a fitness center, a splash pad for kids, a boardwalk, and other features.
- The outdoors
Outdoor activities are an important part of the Babcock Ranch lifestyle. Resident can go fishing and kayaking at Lake Babcock, or go on a half-hour electric boat ride around the lake. The first five miles of the community’s planned 50 miles of hiking and biking trails are now being enjoyed by residents, as well as the community garden in Lake Timber Neighborhood – the first of the many community gardens planned in the community.
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