Babcock Ranch is a solar-powered, all-ages community located near Fort Myers in Southwest Florida.
Anyone can live there, but it has all of the amenities and housing types our readers are interested in which is why we're highlighting it.
Plus, it is designed with walkability and bike-ability in mind, and much of it is golf cart accessible.
- Babcock Ranch is convenient to I-75 and is located about 30 minutes from Fort Myers and Southwest Florida International Airport.
- Situated on approximately 18,000 acres, adjacent to an extensive wilderness preserve.
- 870-acre solar farm powers some of the community
- Clubhouses, pools, a golf course, hiking and biking paths, greenways, and lakes perfect for outdoor adventures
- Approx. 19,000 homes planned
- Homes run from the $300k's to over $1 million
You can request more information here, or keep reading to go deeper.
Babcock Ranch Overview
This video is a great overview of the ideas and vision behind Babcock Ranch:
The story of present day Babcock Ranch actually has more than 100 years of history behind it.
In 1914, a lumber baron and would-be mayor of Pittsburgh, PA named Edward Babcock bought approximately 92,000 acres of land straddling both Charlotte and Lee counties, primarily for logging and agricultural uses.
In the late 1990's his family tried to sell the land to the State of Florida. Though the family and the state agreed on a price of $455 million, the deal could not be structured in a way that would allow the family to avoid massive estate taxes and as a result, the transaction was never completed.
In 2005, real estate development company Kitson & Partners, led by former NFL player Syd Kitson, bought the property for $700 million and within a year had struck a deal to sell about 70,000 acres of it to the state of Florida ($310 million) and 4,000 acres to Lee County ($40 million) for preservation. It is now known as Babcock Ranch Preserve.
As for the remaining 18,000 acres, roughly half of it will remain green space. Approximately 19,500 homes, amenities and more than 6 million sq. ft. of commercial space are planned for the other half.
The Great Recession stalled development plans at Babcock Ranch for several years, but the community finally broke ground in 2015, the first homes were sold in 2017, and residents began moving in in 2018.
In 2020, Babcock Ranch made its first appearance on the RCLCO list of the Top 50 Best-Selling Master-Planned Communities with 540 new home sales that year, and they've built on that momentum by selling 714 new homes in 2021, and 934 new homes in 2022.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of Babcock Ranch from a community perspective is that it claims to be America’s first solar-powered town, and houses an 870-acre solar farm operated by Florida Power & Light.
The entire town is also outfitted with fiber optic internet for a fully connected lifestyle.
Founder’s Square is the social hub of Babcock Ranch and is the site of community events, music, and celebrations for all ages. Located along the edge of Lake Babcock, it is at the northern end of a downtown district that will stretch southward as the town grows.
Founder's Square is also home to a Lee Healthy Life Center where residents can visit their Primary Care Physician, see a physical therapist, take educational health classes, enjoy a workout, and much more all in one place.
Located at the community’s main entrance is Crescent B Commons, a retail plaza anchored by a Publix Supermarket. The plaza also offers a variety of other shopping, services, and restaurants.
The individual neighborhoods within Babcock Ranch will have their own unique amenities for residents, but Babcock Ranch also offers some amenities that all residents can enjoy like Cypress Lodge which houses a huge swimming pool, a game lawn and more. Steps away is Lake Babcock Lookout with a 150-foot boardwalk, floating dock, and the iconic Innovation Tower, a hometown beacon for Babcock Ranch.
There's also the Lakehouse in Lake Timber, featuring a modern zero-entry pool, bath house, playground, and a 2,000-square-foot deck overlooking Lake Timber.
One neighborhood within Babcock Ranch, Babcock National, features an 18-hole golf course. The golf course is open to the public.
Babcock Ranch Real Estate
Babcock Ranch features a variety of neighborhoods from different home builders, and prices generally range from the $300's to over $2M. There are condos, townhouses, and single-family homes. There's even a 55+ neighborhood called Regency at Babcock Ranch.
I've partnered with a Realtor who lives in Babcock Ranch to answer any real estate questions you may have: