www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com Vol. I, No. 1 FREESPRING 2016 CowboysA look at the Babcock Ranch cowboys who work cows roughly the way its been done for a century. A8 Town makersThe people responsible for the Babcock Ranch vision. A28 LifestyleImmerse yourself in working, learning or playing. A24 N A SUMMER DAY IN 2004, SYD Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, set foot on Babcock Ranch for the first time. Like most first-time visitors, he was immediately taken by the enormity of the place and the magnificence of a tableau that time had somehow forgotten. Yet for all its obvious natural beauty, Babcock Ranch spoke to Kitson in a more visceral way as he traversed the long drive to the propertys secluded Cypress Lodge for a visit with the Babcock family. Maybe the rushes of lush, mysterious forests that intermittently lined the road reminded him of a childhood in small-town New Jersey, where he and his friends spent their days discovering hidden places they would claim as their own. Perhaps the vastness of the pastures recalled the promise of having a blank canvas on which he could create his life when he left home for Wake Forest University and ultimately a career as a lineman in the NFL. Or maybe it was the boldness of nature itself and the hold it exerted on every facet of the Ranch that reminded Kitson of the unmitigated joy he continues to experience during hiking and kayaking adventures that can last weeks at a time. Whatever it was, Babcock Ranch spoke to Kitson in a familiar way that day and he listened. Ill never forget the first time I came to Babcock Ranch, said Kitson. Coming down the long drive, all I could see were the cattle, the beautiful landscapes, and the wildlife habitats. All of a sudden, I started to decompress. It was an incredible feeling. We drove to the Cypress Lodge and had a great visit with the family. As we sat on the porch, we were looking at the alligators and the fish jumping and all of the animals coming down to feed. It was just magical. I remember thinking this is a very, very special place. From that moment, I was hopeful Id have an opportunity to do something with this beautiful property. The visit with the Babcocks was propitious, both for the family and for Kitson. In 1914, Edward Babcock, a Pittsburgh lumber magnate and politician, purchased the 91,000-acre Crescent B Ranch from Perry McAdow, the scion of a family that made its fortune in the gold mines of Montana. The renamed Babcock Ranch served as the base for the familys timber business, the most prominent end-users being the diamond mines in South Africa that used the pine-based pitch to ward off termites. By the 1930s, Edwards son Fred was managing the property and became the face of Babcock Ranch. After Freds death in 1997, the heirs attempted to sell the property to the state. In 2005, discussions with the state were terminated. At the same time, Syd Kitson and his partners were engaged in conversations that would expand their business model. Kitson & Partners success to that point had been built on purchasing distressed properties and re-introducing them in a fresh, appealing way. While the enterprise was successful, the partners knew they wanted something more. I remember talking with my partners and say-Babcock Ranch The building of a new hometownOSEE BABCOCK, A14 IMAGES & RENDERINGS COURTESY OF BABCOCK RANCH IN THE BEGINNING Ill never forget the first time I came to Babcock Ranch ... It was an incredible feeling. Syd Kitson Syd Kitson BY KEVIN CAFFREYSpecial to Babcock TelegraphAt right: Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners. Center: Unspoiled settings of Babcock Ranch. Along the top: Artists renderings of Babcock Ranch.
Gas-powered cars will take a back seat at Babcock Ranch BY EVAN WILLIAMSewilliams@babcockranchtelegraph.comAs Babcock Ranch planners look at how people will get around the towns neighborhoods on a daily basis, they are downplaying the role of gas-powered cars, king of American transportation since sprawling suburbs developed after World War II. Instead, they see a new urban world where bicycles and walking, and to some extent ondemand, shared autonomous cars eventually become the transportation of choice, while personal vehicles are reserved for longer trips. Encouraging a walkable, bikeable community is built into the fabric of this development that in overarching ways promotes healthy, active lifestyles and a connection to natural surroundings, said Gary Nelson, senior vice president of planning and development. That includes an interconnected network of bicycle paths on roads and dozens of miles of trails that will link individual neighborhoods within the community to nearby commercial amenities. For instance, an initial few thousand homes are built near a downtown district. Its roughly a quarter-mile walk or ride to access planned developments including a lakeside restaurant and bar, an ice cream/coffee shop, a boutique market and cafe, office space, an elementary school, a fitness center and an outdoor retail store with kayaks, bikes, paddleboards and other rental gear. As more surrounding neighborhoods are built with room for up to 50,000 residents in the years to come theyll be planned with village centers of their own that offer some commercial amenities. Paths and trailheads in each village will offer ways to connect to the larger downtown district. Planners are also considering an app that would help people use the trail and roadway systems together. Eventually some 50 miles of trails will connect the community to outdoor opportunities in the surrounding 73,000-acre Babcock Ranch Wilderness Preserve, which will be managed by the state. They are considering a bike-sharing program in which credit cards are used to check out bicycles, and charging stations will encourage electric vehicles, ideas that reflect European modes of transportation, new urbanism, ride-share programs and the latest thinking in transit planning. And some of it is just inspired by the land itself with the preservation areas and the wide open spaces and some of the ranch trails that exist today, Mr. Nelson said. Those are all things well be able to take advantage of in our trail system that we think will be one of our key amenities. Residents and visitors may also in the near future be able to order a self-driving autonomous car to get around Babcock using an app on their phone. Kitson & Partners hasnt finalized plans or chosen a company from which to purchase autonomous cars, but they have looked at several prototypes as examples of the type of vehicle they might use, said Natalee Burns, project coordinator of strategic initiatives. We are still in the process of partnering with a car manufacturer that could develop a shuttle and/or twoto four-person vehicles, she said. Special infrastructure isnt needed to accommodate the latest autonomous cars, said John Broderick, senior vice president of land development. Technology such as proximity sensors allows them to follow the rules of the road on their own. The car is actually realizing everything around it by itself, and I think thats one of the incredible things about it, he said. Babcock may see its first autonomous shuttle when it opens in 2017 with a vehicle that takes six or so passengers from the downtown district to view home models. Its very much a work in progress as the technologies are improving but theyre improving at such a rapid rate were wanting to stay up to speed with them so we can incorporate them sooner rather than later, Mr. Nelson said. A2 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCH PublisherPason Gaddispgaddis@babcockranchtelegraph.comEditorJeffrey Culljcull@babcockranchtelegraph.comEditorial AdvisorJohn Hillmanjhillman@kitsonpartners.comPresentation EditorEric Raddatzeraddatz@babcockranchtelegraph.comContributing WritersKevin Caffrey, Evan Williams, Nanci Theoret, Glenn Miller, Roger WilliamsPhotographerVandy MajorGraphic DesignersChris Andruskiewicz, Hannah Arnone, Alisa Bowman, Paul Heinrich, Scott SleeperCirculation ManagerCameo Hinmanchinman@babcockranchtelegraph.comAccount ExecutivesAngela Schivinskiangela@babcockranchtelegraph.comGail Dingeegdingee@babcockranchtelegraph.comMichele Foleymfoley@babcockranchtelegraph.comBuffy Hagoodbuffy@babcockranchtelegraph.comBusiness Office ManagerKelli CaricoPublished by Florida Media Group LLC4300 Ford Street, Suite 105 Fort Myers, Florida 33916Phone: 239.333.2135 Helping Communities, Businesses and Individuals Since 1924. 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Residents have choice between town, country lifestyles BY KEVIN CAFFREYSpecial to Babcock TelegraphA cornerstone of Kitson & Partners development philosophy has always been the notion that choice matters. Babcock Ranch will be no exception. It will be a place where a choice of a town or country lifestyle will invite people to rediscover the real meaning of neighborhoods, where downtown is more than a place to shop or dine, and where the notion of walking, riding a bike, using an autonomous vehicle, and enjoying a conversation on one of the towns numerous green spaces or in a more open setting is the norm rather than the exception. As is the case in any well-designed town, downtown Babcock Ranch will be the social, economic, dining and entertainment center of the community and a place that is intimately intertwined with every aspect of day-to-day living. Intermingled with a mix of singlefamily and multifamily residences, downtown Babcock will be a place with a Main Street vibe that encourages people to call one another by name, and where a lakefront green space invites leisurely social interaction. Those who choose to live Babcock Ranchs town experience will enjoy having every element of downtown literally just minutes from their door. Downtown will effectively be their backyard and the people working in downtown will effectively be considered neighbors. Whether it be at the produce market or the ice cream/coffee shop, the fitness center, the education center, the retail shops or the lakefront restaurant, the shopkeepers, service providers and residents will know and appreciate one another on a personal level that simply cannot be achieved in a suburban mall or strip mall setting. At the same time, the mix of multifamily and single-family town residences will present an additional opportunity for people to connect and interact. Condominium residences either immediately in or immediately adjacent to the downtown core will offer a maintenance-free lifestyle that will appeal to young first-time buyers, married couples, emptynesters and retirees. Single-family alley homes situated within a few short blocks of the center of downtown will include detached garages at the rear of the lot to allow the house to be positioned closer to the sidewalk at the front of the home. Wide front porches will encourage interaction with passers-by. Intimate green spaces within the neighborhoods will contribute to a sense of cohesiveness and familiarity. Custom-built lakefront homes on larger homesites will present another town residence option. Even given their immediate proximity to downtown, the town residences will offer the connection to nature that is Babcock Ranchs signature with a trailhead at each neighborhood. Whether it is kayaking, boating or paddleboarding on Lake Babcock or Lake Timber, relaxing or interacting with neighbors on one of the towns numerous green spaces, or accessing Babcocks extensive network of nature trails, town residents will enjoy both the immediacy of all that downtown offers and the stunning beauty of the surrounding lakes and preserves.The country neighborhoods and residences will offer another possibility for enjoying all that Babcock Ranch offers. As planned, homes situated on more generously proportioned homesites will convey a sense of privacy and an even closer connection with nature. At the same time, a network of walkable, bikeable streetscapes will lead to neighborhood and village centers that, as planned, will create a sense of place and identification while providing the convenience of basic retail offerings and more localized neighborhood gathering places. While the homesite sizes and space sequences will in the majority of cases be larger than those found in the town offerings, the country residences will continue Babcocks familiar, comforting look and feel that recalls a simpler time when neighbors knew and cared about one another. The country residences will provide a more immediate connection with the preserves and lakes that distinguish the landscape of Babcock Ranch and the surrounding area. Trail heads that serve as gateways to the towns hiking trails will be more easily accessible and the sense of living in nature will resonate more powerfully. Yet, even while country residents enjoy their more generous surroundings and sense of being more removed from the day-to-day ebb and flow, the shops, resources, dining and entertainment possibilities in Babcocks downtown area will be easily accessed by walking, biking or autonomous vehicles. A6 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCH Oce Furniture and Design Concepts Best Selection of Oce Furniture! www.ocefurnituredesignconcepts.comCome in and Visit Our Showroom! 11866 Metro Parkway Fort Myers, FL 33966 (239) 337-7156 Open Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm www.ocefurnituredesignconcepts.com Find out how you can save 10% on your next purchase by scanning the QR code
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A8 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCH BY ROGER WILLIAMSrwilliams@babcockranchtelegraph.comHILE DAWN STRUGGLES TO pour its first ghostly light through the stubborn shadows of a new March day, Dalton Boney lowers his long form onto a narrow bench in the openended pole barn of the old Babcock Ranch. Hes already bridled and saddled his horse, securing his rope from the pommel in front and tying his rain slicker behind the cantle, in the rear. Slipping a small tin from his jeans pocket, he pushes a pinch of tobacco into his cheek. Then he answers a reporters question about moving cows. Yessir, Ive been doin this most all of my life, he says. The same is true of the men around him, generally in their 20s or 30s: Casey King, Dustyn Whitmir, Clint Catfish Davis, Carl Langford and his cool, capable cousin, Babcock cattle manager Elton Langford. The old man of the bunch, Mr. Langford is also a Desoto County rancher and an elected county commissioner, to boot. Hell be 47 in May. An old adage the more things change, the more they stay the same is no longer true at Babcock. Now, the more things change, the more the things that havent changed become remarkable. For that reason, the Babcock Telegraph has come to see cowboys work cows roughly the way its been done for a century on the Babcock Ranch. Its all these guys do, says Mr. Langford, describing his day riders, men who also manage or work other operations on a busy, rotating basis. Its all theyve ever wanted to do. And its what they hope to keep doing on Babcock, even though major change is imminent. Come July, there will be two ranches stretched across the 91,000 acres of the original Babcock Ranch. One will carry on under the ownership of the state of Florida, which will contract cattle or crop leases with ranchers and farmers on parts of the states 73,000 acres, where about 2,000 head of cattle still remain. The other ranch is owned by Syd Kitson & Partners, developers of the planned solarpowered town. There, on roughly half of Mr. Kitsons 18,000 acres, Steve Smith and his cowboys, led by Elton Langford, will run about 1,200 head of cows. A ranch-bred, University of Florida-educated Gator, Mr. Smith is vice present and general manager of Babcock Ranch Management LLC, which puts him in charge of the melon and sod fields on Babcock, along with the cow operation. As on the state-owned land, income from cows and crops will pay for the upkeep of the green and wild places that still dominate Babcock. Weve been taking care of the state side along with ours for about 10 years, but we arent going to continue that after July, he notes.Working the ranchBut hell continue to work cows with one foot in the new world and one foot in the old. From early morning on, Mr. Smiths cellphone competes in techno-chirps with warbling Osceola turkeys emerging from their night roosts in the watery cypress heads. Taking calls from feed supply companies or representatives from ranches trying to sell him breeding bulls, he maneuvers the back roads of Babcock in a 4-year-old F-150 pickup with 150,000 miles on the odometer and a rifle behind the seat. Most old-time ranchers carried rifles as tools to dispatch a hopelessly ill cow or a broken-legged horse, sometimes a heartbreaking necessity. That, like the hard work of fence-building or repair, is all part of ranching here still, where generations of a unique breed the now highly endangered and increasingly rare American cowboy have greeted each new Giddy upCowboy life firmly entrenched on Babcock RanchVANDY MAJOR / BABCOCK TELEGRAPHTeamwork: Men, horses and dogs, all born to the life, prepare to move cows on Babcock Ranch. From the left, Casey King, Dalton Boney, Elton Langford and Dustyn Whitmir. Mothers and calves can look peaceful until they arent. The cowboys are never relaxed.Its all these guys do ... Its all theyve ever wanted to do. W
BABCOCK RANCH www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com SPRING 2016 A9day relying only on themselves, on good cow dogs, and on hard horses. Such animals are nothing like apple butt equines, as one cowboy once described the legions of well-fed leisure animals that now dot the countryside of the Southwest Florida coast. Good cow ponies can work for hours through inhospitable terrain just like their riders, or hold the line if a rider has to rope a bull. Its not something people or animals learn in workshops or from riding in an arena. It takes years generations, even. Dalton Boneys family, theyre four or five generations Cracker, and hes as cowboy as they come, Mr. Langford explains, using the term that traditionally distinguished cowmen here from those in the West: Cracker. It describes a man using a whip to direct unruly bovines. Working with nervous cows from an early age atop a thousand pounds of muscled-up cow pony is how Mr. Boney learned to wheel his horse in a crowded pen, lift his rope suddenly from the saddle like a gunfighter, then spin it and throw it over the top rail of a high board fence in a single smooth motion, nailing a running calf not inside but outside the corral. Did you see that? calls an impressed Mr. Smith. Yes, a reporter saw it. For any who have ever tried such a trick, its talent and art in action. Not many Americans can still perform with such skill outside a rodeo arena. The little creature had escaped only seconds earlier, 150 pounds of panicked sprinter on the hoof. While Mr. Boneys capable horse backs up (without being asked) to hold the rope taut, Casey King quickly dismounts. In almost a single fluid motion he secures his horse and climbs the fence. Then the cowboy seizes the struggling calf, hefting it and walking it back around to a gate. Slipping the rope, he returns the animal to the herd and its now very anxious mother.Tools and tricks of the cowboy tradeBut that dramatic moment comes later in the morning when the bawling of cows and calves moved in from months on pasture reaches a near din when a storm of flies hover above their backs and the silent dogs wheel ceaselessly on the flanks and ends of the herd, cutting off breakouts and runaways with remarkable authority. Back at the barn before full daylight, the cowboys prepare for such work by retrieving blankets, saddles and bridles from the bonedry saddle room, a standard on every traditional ranch. There are jokes and light banter as they saddle up. None wears tight-fitting designer jeans or duded-up gear just sweat-stained Stetsons, loose shirts and working jeans over half-dollar-sized spurs fitted to boots with layered heels that will hold a stirrup in tight turns or sudden stops. Each man slides a blanket onto the back of his pony, hefts the saddle up over the left side the same side he will mount on then reaches under the horse to catch the cinch strap. He belts it and pulls it tight, not once but twice, making sure the animal isnt holding a bellyful of air before knotting it down. Should air be expelled the horses belly might shrink, leaving the cinch strap and saddle dangerously loose and likely to slide, a potential detriment to a cowboys continuing good health. On this day and with three exceptional cow dogs, the men will work about 80 cows and their new calves out of a cypress head, herding them across open pasture and into an arrangement of sorting corrals or holding pens. Mr. Langford and Mr. Smith will then use their experience and knowledge of each animals genetics to make some quick decisions: which little heifers will be future mothers on Babcock; which males, if any, might be kept as herd bulls for breeding; which males will become steers before the morning is out (and thus good table beef down the line a year or two). Theyll be ear-tagged, branded with the traditional Babcock Crescent B if theyre picked to become part of the permanent herd, castrated if necessary, and given shots by these cowboys, all before being released with their mothers back to pasture. Once, Crackers ran stringy, tough little cows directly descended from Spanish imports through the palmetto scrub or the cypress and pine flatwoods, hereabouts. In those days, building a fence was against the law. Those animals rarely reached weights of more than 400 to 500 pounds. The Babcock folks still maintain about 70 head of those Cracker cows just to remember their roots, and for visitors to admire, Mr. Smith says. But now we are mostly Brangus (a Brahma-Angus cross) with some Braford (Brahma and Hereford), he explains. When they reach a certain weight, maybe 600 pounds, theyll be sold either through private treaty, as they call an in-person deal for a bunch, or through video auction. Then theyll be shipped out in possum-belly trucks that can hold a hundred or so head to feedlots in Texas or the Midwest, where they can reach weights of more than 1,200 pounds before slaughter. Its easier to truck the cows to the feed in countryside where feed grains grow prolifically nearby (not Florida) than it is to bring feed to the cows. Its a matter of weight ratios: it takes 4 or 5 pounds of grain to put a pound of weight on a fattening animal.Dogs and horsesBut none of it can be done without cowboys, men who have a significant investment in the life, both personally and economically. Laziness is not included in the gear they bring to the job. Instead, these men come equipped with toughness, savvy, a short string of well-trained cow ponies, a couple of cow dogs bred to the life, and cheer in all weathers. Most raise and train their own horses, and each can be worth many thousands of dollars and years of investment, explains Mr. Langford. Twos a plenty; most guys try to have two good horses seasoned or broke, and a couple theyre training. These guys only sell one once they get one going and get a good colt coming behind. You cant keep em all. If theyre not wore out, you get a horse you rode since hes 2, and when hes getting to be 8 or 9 he should be good and broke by then. The dogs are equally as important, and beloved by their owners. Rangy in appearance, they dont look like much riding in the horse trailers cowboys have to maintain to move their animals from job to job. But theyre indispensible in terrain such as Babcocks brilliant as tacticians and team members in the field. A good dog can be worth thousands of dollars, cowboys say. And they cant do it forever maybe until theyre 6 or 7 because its not just hard but sometimes harrowing work. Its in the bloodline just like them horses, explains Mr. Langford. These dogs have been raised for years and years and years. My grandfather had dogs, my uncle, my dad you cross your dogs with those from different guys you work with, you cross the bloodlines. These dogs are not papered, but they have (distinct) bloodlines. Its just stuff we know. We keep up with it. Bred to the work, younger dogs learn from older ones, and they learn pretty quickly. Dangers include not just angry cows but rattlesnakes or even alligators, especially since cow dogs will take quickly to water in a pond or creek after hard work. When cowboys spot alligators longer than about 4 feet in water bodies near cow pastures, therefore, theyll have the big reptiles captured and moved, Mr. Smith explains. Its all in a life the cowboy life. VANDY MAJOR / BABCOCK TELEGRAPHDalton Boney can ride, rope, judge the value of a calf, build or repair fence and do anything else required of a cowboy. Few can still claim those skills.VANDY MAJOR / BABCOCK TELEGRAPHDustyn Whitmir is called the baby of the bunch. But, like all the cowboys on Babcock Ranch, hes tough and cheerful.
Babcock Style celebrates Floridas architectural past BY NANCI THEORETntheoret@babcockranchtelegraphHomes reminiscent of early Florida and its melting pot of architectural influences Craftsman, Spanish, farmhouse, Colonial/West Indies and coastal design unique to the Gulf of Mexico echo Babcock Ranchs emphasis on authenticity and its commitment to the environment. The Babcock Style, the residential vernacular created by town architect Looney Ricks Kiss, also makes perfect sense today, just as it did in the past: deep open porches to welcome breezes (and neighbors), overhangs and canopy trees to shade interiors, and dormer and clerestory windows to provide natural light. Babcock Ranch is very purposeful in the way homes are designed, says Mark Jones, a principal of Looney Ricks Kiss. They embrace the design elements that were instrumental in the Southwest Florida region while creating a modern-living home for entertaining and open floor plans. The Babcock Style is based on timeless design principles that stay true to architectural integrity: stucco, siding, brick and stone facades; vertically proportioned and symmetrical windows and doors; and simple but traditional detail consistent with formal, simple classical and relaxed back-country vernacular. Hearkening back to traditional neighborhoods, porches are almost flush with sidewalks and garages are recessed or located off an alley in the back of the home. Our goal was to create a sense of timeless architecture drawing from the natural environment and the regional vernacular of Florida, Mr. Jones says. The palette is also derived from nature vegetation, wildflowers and animal life. We blended together these elements to create the simplicity of living in nature and what that means to the way a house looks, lives and acts. COURTESY RENDERINGS OF BABCOCK RANCH A10 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCH yourself Reservations Recommended: 800-500-5583 Book Online: BabcockWilderness.comface to facewith natureFind8000 State Road 31 Punta Gorda, Florida 33982 | Tours: Tuesday Saturday
BABCOCK RANCH SPRING 2016 A11Q&A with Syd Kitson, chairman and CEO of Kitson & PartnersBabcock Telegraph: This is a kind of a crazy question but we have to ask, What compelled you to build a new town? Syd Kitson: I would say it started out by wanting to create something from the beginning, a green field that was different, that was better, that was steeped in sustainability, that respected the land and proved that you can do that and still be a great developer and create great places and that the land and housing and a town can work together harmoniously. Part of our history as an organization has been we would buy distressed properties similar to this and turn them around. I was sitting there with my partners back in the early 2000s and said wouldnt it be great and lets just do it right from the beginning and not have to buy somebody elses mistakes. Then we had this opportunity with Babcock Ranch and I will candidly say I wasnt necessarily looking to build a new town at the time but when that opportunity presented itself it became very exciting for us as an organization and a partnership. So it was all the things we had thought about and all the ideas. BT: The Babcock Ranch website proclaims, Your neighbors front porch is as familiar as your own. How will that work? SK: Its in the design that makes that possible. So when you build homes like they do here; all over the country and not just Florida, where theyll come in and just slap a bunch of homes together and build a little amenity center and walk away. Thats not what were talking about. In Babcock, if you look at our downtown, we try to have all of those elements right from day one. Its going to grow from there, and we hope quickly. Youre going to have a wellness center and Florida Gulf Coast University Research Center. There will be a general store, ice cream shop and a coffee shop, and an incubator career center. Theres the Discovery Center that will include an outfitters and then you have a restaurant right on the water. These lakes are huge and were going to honor that that is going to be part of what we do. BT: How will technology add to the Babcock Ranch living experience? SK: Technology is so critical to todays world so were going to feature Telehealth in our community, as an example. The reason we can do that is were going to have fiber optics to every home and the bandwidth will be there. So having those modern conveniences readily at hand and to be able to call a doctor and he can diagnose you over the phone; not for the serious stuff but a lot of times you just dont need to go into the doctors office. You can describe your symptoms over the phone, use your smart phone and take pictures. Telehealth is a big piece and a big component of whats coming forward. Itll save on health care costs. COURTESY PHOTOSyd KitsonSEE Q&A, A17 Kimley-Horn Ad_outline fonts.ai 1 3/29/2016 3:38:23 PM 1200 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FLfishville.com1 800.639.0020
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Babcock Ranch picks residential, commercial builders BY NANCI THEORETntheoret@babcockranchtelegraph.com Kitson & Partners has selected its initial residential and commercial building team at Babcock Ranch. Six established Southwest Florida homebuilders have been contracted to build custom and semi-custom homes, and Skanska, an international development and construction firm, is building the first phase of Town Square. Living at Babcock is about having choices and our builders are creating the broadest possible set of options for future owners, said John A Hillman, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing for Kitson & Partners. Custom homes will be offered by four builders along an 80-acre lake with wide-open water views stretching several hundred feet to the other side. The semi-custom homes offer two ways to live: The back of the home overlooks water or it lives facing forward like traditional older neighborhoods, Mr. Hillman says. Those forward-facing homes offer porches overlooking the street, shared pocket parks, woods and community gardens to enhance the towns neighborly ambience. Skanskas Florida division is the general contractor for the inaugural phase of Babcock Ranchs first Town Square and the 2,000-square-foot outfitters store, which will offer equipment sales and rentals as well as gear and provisions for enjoying the towns hiking, biking and kayaking trails. The design of the town center holds true to the ranch concept in a very unique way, says Fred Hames, general manager of Skanska Florida. Its very inviting and interactive and blends well with the surrounding environment. Skanskas Florida projects include the Villages in Ocala, urbanscapes in Tampa and Sarasota and town center malls throughout Florida. Our company is very excited to be involved with Babcock Ranch, Mr. Hames said. Its such a unique project, one that we will build and step away and say, I built that and I was part of that. In my opinion this is going to be great for the area because it fits into the environment. BABCOCK RANCH www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com SPRING 2016 A13 BUILDING INSPIRED LIVINGSince 1949Over the last 65 years, weve created a strong foundation built on our commitment to the nest details and the comfortable, modern lifestyles of our homebuyers. We not only build homes, we de ne lifestyles.www.homesbytowne.com
A14 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCHPHOTOS BY LUIS HERNANDEZ DAVILA Telegraph Creek, on Babcock Ranch, offers kayakers a trip that is out-of-the-way, uncrowded, scenic, quiet and full of wildlife Babcock Ranch is very family-friendly. From the moment a visitor enters Babcock Ranch, the towns connection with nature will be apparent. ing Wouldnt it be great if we could do one of these from the beginning and not have to deal with the mistakes and the issues? Lets do it right from the beginning, said Kitson. We were hoping that opportunity would come to us. Fortunately it did, and it was Babcock Ranch. We realized this could be special. Babcock is 143 square miles of land. Thats a lot of property. We had to step back and say What can we really do with this? For us, it was about preservation and how can we take this land and preserve most of it? The state had been working for years to preserve Babcock. It was the missing link between Lake Okeechobee and the Charlotte Harbor Estuary. We wanted to be a part of that. Proving our new town could work with the environment and preserving the land was one of our primary goals from the beginning. In 2005, Kitson & Partners entered into a contract to purchase Babcock Ranch in its entirety and had one year to close the transaction. The contract put into motion a series of events that would leave most developers incredulous. Syd Kitson and his team forged relationships with Charlotte and Lee Counties and with environmental groups who embraced the prospect of creating a new town focused on preserving the surrounding lands and living in harmony with nature. Legislation was crafted that authorized the State of Florida to purchase 73,000 acres of the Babcock Ranch property from Kitson & Partners and to hold the land in preservation. Kitson would use the remaining 18,000 acres to create the town of Babcock Ranch on lands previously disturbed by the propertys timber and mining operations. Kitson envisioned the new town as the first solar-powered town in the United States and proceeded to enroll Florida Power & Light as a critical member of Babcock Ranchs Town Maker team. Entitlements and permits were secured. By July of 2006, Kitson & Partners had completed in just twelve months what normally takes up to five years to resolve. On July 31, 2006, Kitson & Partners completed its purchase of Babcock Ranch from the Babcock family. On the same day, Kitson closed a $350 million deal with the State of Florida and Lee County for the largest single land preservation agreement in the states history. The agreement preserved 73,000 acres of the property, allowed ranching operations to continue under Kitson & Partners management for ten years, and provided Kitson with 18,000 acres, an area the size of Manhattan, for the development of the town of Babcock Ranch. That was one of the proudest days of my career and of our entire companys existence, said Syd Kitson. Preserving 73,000 acres forever is a legacy and an accomplishment, not only for us, but for all of the people involved. There were so many leaders within the community, from the Governor, to the staff members, to the agencies, to the environmental groups, to community leaders, the number of people was amazing. We have 18,000 acres remaining for our new town. Were preserving half of those. So 90% of the 91,000 acre ranch is in preservation forever. July 31st, 2006 was a point in time that well never forget and hopefully generations of people will understand what that day meant when they go through the preserve and enjoy it and they walk through our town and they see the environment and see the conservation easements, the wildlife habitats, and how the environment truly can come into your life. With its 18,000 acres in hand, Kitson & Partners continued to evolve its design for a town based on core initiatives that are as rock solid today as they were when the process began. The site plan, retail and residential architectural styles, and community amenity designs would be focused on energy efficiency, environmental conservation and preservation, education, innovative technologies, transportation, health and wellness, and storm safety. We said Lets take a look at each one of those, do it right, and create a great place where people can live, learn, work and play, enjoy themselves, raise their families and live a life to the very fullest, said Kitson. Most important of all is to have a healthy town. If you live in clean environment, youre going to live longer. We want people to interact with the environment in a way that is unique. We want the town to be relatable, a place that is more in scale for people, a town where people can gather. Were making gathering places for people to enjoy, to hike and walk and really experience what Babcock Ranch is about. From the moment a visitor enters Babcock Ranch, the towns connection with nature will be apparent. The entry sequence will include a winding, tree-lined drive and bridge with long-range views of Lake Timber, one of the many mining lakes that are prominently featured in the towns design. The entry road will arrive at downtown Babcock Ranch, the heart and soul of the community that is designed to foster the personal connection, personal well-being, and lifelong learning opportunities that are the core of Babcocks way of life. Intermingled with a mix of singlefamily and multi-family residences, downtowns Main Street ambiance and sense of familiarity will reflect Syd Kitsons small-town roots. A Great Lawn situated on the shore of the 268-acre Lake Babcock will anchor downtown and serve as the towns signature gathering place, whether for a cup of coffee and conversation with friends, concerts, harvest dinners, or community celebrations. Places of learning and exploration, a wellness center, a lakefront restaurant, specialty retail shops, a locally grown produce market, and numerous gathering places will hold a magnetic appeal for walkers, bikers, and those being transported by autonomous vehicles. Each of Babcock Ranchs Town and Country neighborhoods will be within a five minute walk of a park. These internal green spaces will serve as gathering places where children can play and neighbors can socialize. Craftsman, Farmhouse, Coastal Gulf Vernacular, Spanish, and Colonial/West Indies architectural styles, each sourced in the pre-World War II Southwest Florida regional styles, will recall a simpler time. Deep front porches positioned close to the sidewalks and streets will encourage conversations with passersby and invitations to neighbors to spend time together. Simple detailing, shutters, overhangs, and design appropriate windows will foster design efficiencies that will contribute to a look that is elegant in its simplicity. Each of the neighborhoods will have access to a trail head that will serve as a gateway to a 50-mile trail network that will have destinations of its own, including tree forts, picnic areas, camping areas, and fishing areas. Even as it honors nature and offers an ambiance that recalls a bygone era, Kitson and his team have incorporated far-sighted, innovative technologies in their plans for Babcock Ranch. The implementation of those technologies will be supported by an extraordinary level of bandwidth. The town will be the first master-planned, green field smart city with global network access points that allow instantaneous worldwide connectivity. We needed to future proof Babcock and only way we could do that was to have fiber with a minimum of one gigabyte available to every home and business, said Kitson. Thats rare today. It will also allow us to integrate telehealth BABCOCKFrom page 1
BABCOCK RANCH www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com SPRING 2016 A15ARTISTS RENDERING COURTESY OF BABCOCK RANCHThe towns first model homes are scheduled for completion by the end of this year and the first five downtown buildings are slated to open in early 2017. That was one of the proudest days of my career and of our entire companys existence ... Preserving 73,000 acres forever is a legacy and an accomplishment, not only for us, but for all of the people involved. Syd Kitson into our wellness programs and were working with a local hospital that has a system in place. Autonomous vehicles are also going to be showcased at Babcock. We believe cars that drive themselves are the future and we want to be at the forefront of that. We have the approvals from the State of Florida to do it. From the beginning, energy efficiency was one of Kitson & Partners core initiatives for Babcock Ranch. Through a unique partnership with Florida Power & Light, the homes and businesses at Babcock will be powered by renewable solar energy generated and distributed on property. We say Babcock Ranch is powered by the sun, nature, and innovation, said Kitson, and theyre all intertwined. During the day, Babcock Ranch will be powered by solar energy. When the sun goes down, it will be powered by natural gas. With that combination, Babcock Ranch will have the cleanest form of energy anywhere in the United States. We are incredibly proud of that. Florida Power & Light has worked with us from the earliest planning stages and they are a fantastic partner. They are building a 75-megawatt solar power generation facility right on Babcock Ranch. That facility will include 350,000 solar panels on 450 acres. What they are putting together is remarkable and something we are incredibly proud to be a part of. It has been 12 years since Syd Kitson made his first visit to Babcock Ranch. When he visits the property now, he sees the fruits of his labor unfolding. Infrastructure installation has been completed, streets in some of the neighborhoods have been defined, and curbs have been poured. The towns first model homes are scheduled for completion by the end of this year and the first five downtown buildings are slated to open in February, 2017. What started as a vision born out of listening to the land is quickly becoming a reality. What drives me is creating something that will have an impact today and in the future, said Kitson. When we looked at creating this community, we thought about how we could treat the land and how we could create places so that it would be additive to future generations and not take away from them. Creating a place that caters to whats going on today, but is thoughtful about the future, is what were doing here. And that legacy is very, very important to us. PHOTOS BY KEVIN CAFFREY PHOTO BY LUIS HERNANDEZ DAVILA
BabcockRanchFlorida.com Sales Center: 11390 Palm Beach Blvd. Fort Myers, Florida 33905 Kitson & Partners Proudly Introduces Babcock Ranch, the First Solar Powered Town in the United StatesWere Building a New HomeTownJuly 31st, 2006 was one of the proudest days of my career and of our entire companys existence. The lands surrounding our new town will be in preservation forever. That is the legacy of the hundreds of people who were involved. We thank those who continue to share our vision of Babcock Ranch, a place to live, learn, work, and play while honoring and enjoying nature in a uniquely personal way. Syd Kitson, Chairman & CEO, Kitson & Partners
BABCOCK RANCH SPRING 2016 A17BT : What about transportation around Babcock Ranch? Whats planned? SK: We believe deeply in autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are going to be the future of transportation. We want to take the lead on that at Babcock Ranch. We want to be an early adopter for those technologies and allow people the opportunity to keep their independence, to be able to go out and have dinner and a couple of glasses of wine and not worry about having to drive on the way home, to safely take your kids to the park or other places that they need to go to. Those things are real and its not 20 years from now, its now. The technology exists. Now we need to have a place where you can deploy that kind of technology. So we want to be a living laboratory for those technologies and that means autonomous vehicles, it means the solar energy and potential for discovering new ways to store it, and have our smart homes and smart grid and all of those things that can make us very, very unique. Better quality at a lower cost. BT: Talk more about the first solar-powered town. SK: When somebody asks me why nobody else has done it, the answer is very simple. They havent thought about incorporating it right from the beginning. So what makes it a solar town? That solar array is right next to our town; right there. The way electricity works is that solar energy which goes to the substation will feed our community first. So that solar energy is truly for our town. Were also hooked into the grid. At night when those electrons back off the grid then takes over and continues to power the community. Its like a switch that moves electrons in and out. When its daylight and there is sunshine its being powered by the solar and at nighttime its being powered by the grid. Florida Power & Light are phenomenal partners by the way. When you look at the ability to give them more than 400 acres right next to our town, most people just havent been able to do that. BT: Talk about social sustainability? SK: If you moved to Babcock you know that you are thinking about the future. Its not all about you but its about the future of our lands, of our states and of our country. Think about that for a moment. Youre not just taking and taking, you know your kids and grandkids and their grandkids are all going to have to use the same place. Can we leave it in a better state? But how fantastic to know you can live in a place that is being responsible to the needs of future generations. So we preserved 73,000 acres. Thats was monstrous and thats what Im most proud of in my entire career. Make no mistake about it, we were the ones who made the investment but we were the conduit to the state of Florida buying that land, otherwise it wouldnt have happened. So a 73,000-acre nature preserve is going to be there and they are never going to build on it. I love that and the fact that now were being powered by sunshine. That again has never been done before. We hope people start to copy what were doing, which is the greatest compliment you could possibly have. Q&AFrom page 11 11741 Palm Beach Blvd. East Fort Myers Serving SW Florida Since 1922!Home of Community BankingWe are thankful that as a Community Bank we can provide traditional banking face to face with a handshake and a smile along with the convenience of 24/7 mobile banking at your ngertips. Our Hometown Bankers await your visit in person or online, visit us First! ARCHITECTURE PLANNING INTERIORS 407.566.2575 | WWW .LRK. COMGREAT HOMES GREAT SPACES PROVEN RESULTS
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Utilities: Water to flow efficiently; computers to run effortlessly BY EVAN WILLIAMSewilliams@babcockranchtelegraph.com Kitson & Partners is planning the Babcock community with water conservation and blazing fast 1-gigabyte fiber optic Internet speeds in mind. To accomplish the former, they are building their own water and sewage treatment facility to align with residential and building practices that minimize water use. There is a sensitivity built into the design guidelines both what were doing as community developers and what our residents and builders will follow, said Gary Nelson, senior vice president of planning and development. Homes will be outfitted with WaterSense fixtures based on Environmental Protection Agency guidelines that require them to use 20 percent less water while doing the same job as well or better. For instance, WaterSense toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush while the federal standard is 1.6 gallons per flush. The EPA estimates that could also save $110 per year in water costs per home. The average house at Babcock Ranch is expected to use roughly 120 to 170 gallons of water per day. The idea is to limit the footprint of how much water people use as it relates to the indoor side of the equation as much as possible, said utility director Mike Acosta. Outside the house, where the greatest amount of water is usually used for irrigation, Babcock will use reclaimed wastewater filtered at its own water and sewage treatment plant. Water from showers, sinks and toilets goes down a gravity sewer to a lift station and is pumped to the treatment plant where it becomes effluent or reclaimed water after being run through a nanofiltration membrane. The water is then discharged into a closed lake near the utility treatment site and pumped throughout the community for irrigation purposes, instead of wasting potable water. The community will also encourage natural landscaping and use it in common areas to minimize irrigation needs. And to keep up with the demands of an increasingly online world, plans call for installing a fiber optic network with 1-gigabyte-per-second bandwidth and room for more in the future. That would keep residents connected with fast and powerful enough online speeds to make it practical to run numerous household or business applications and appliances, as well as smart devices, and heavy use of video and data transfer. After an extensive selection process and more information, our strategic partner will be announced this May, said Natalee Burns, project coordinator for strategic initiatives. Download speeds vary depending on the provider and where its installed. Fastmetrics. com estimates a two-hour HD movie would take 25 seconds with 1 gig. Google Fiber estimates that its 1-gig technology makes it possible to download an HD movie in seven seconds, while 25 megabytes takes more than four minutes. A20 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCH Bringing your message into focus.239.275.5758 | GSMA.pro Serving the best clients in Southwest Florida since 1983.
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Babcock Ranch, a place to immerse yourself in working, learning or playing BY KEVIN CAFFREYSpecial to Babcock TelegraphWhile the relaxed pace and comforting ambience of Babcock Ranch may conjure visions of a small town from a bygone era, the community has been designed as a haven for talented, educated, curious and creative people. Whether they are working, learning or playing, the townspeople will have an opportunity to be fully engaged in life on a daily basis, to enjoy the richness of personal connections with one another, and to experience a relationship with nature that only a place like Babcock Ranch can provide. The social fabric at Babcock Ranch will be imbued with a desire to learn, to inspire and to fulfill unique personal visions and aspirations. At the same time, Babcock will be a place where people value and appreciate the special moments that occur every day. The future Downtown District of Babcock Ranch will be the heart and soul of the town and designed to foster the personal connection, personal well-being and lifelong learning opportunities that are the core of the communitys way of life. Places of learning and exploration, a wellness center, restaurants, specialty retail shops, and indoor and outdoor gathering places will hold a magnetic appeal for walkers, bikers and those transported by shared vehicles. Whether undertaken individually, or within a structured classroom or peer group environment, lifelong learning will be valued and pursued with vigor. For many, their insatiable curiosity will be reflected in their entrepreneurial spirit, their commitment to volunteerism and their personal sense of responsibility to the community. So what will a day at Babcock Ranch be like? For some, it might start by rising with the sun, taking the first cup of the day to the front porch, and letting that still-sleepy feeling melt away with the early morning mist hovering over Lake Babcock and Lake Timber. Take the dog for a walk and enjoy a moment with the neighbors on the neighborhood green. Be sure to return the emails from those clients in Europe and to make sure deliveries are scheduled as promised. Ride a bike to the wellness center downtown and get the body and mind recharged with a brisk personal or group workout. Grab a cup to go at the coffee shop and savor a moment at a downtown park on the shores of Lake Babcock. Stop by the locally grown produce market and ice cream shop on the ride home. Once home, head across the street and see what the neighbor is up to. Maybe a long walk, a bike ride or an afternoon of fishing is in the offing. Others may get their day started by walking the kids to school and then heading to work or the Collaborative Business Center downtown. Maybe theres a class or lecture at the Education Center to attend. A yoga class on the lawn at a park is about to begin. Enjoy the company of a friend during a hike or jog on one of Babcocks nature trails. Kayak to the middle of Lake Babcock or Lake Timber and know what it is like to hear nothing but the wind and the birds. Be sure to check in on the elderly gentleman down the street that is what neighbors do. Once school is out, take the kids for a dip at the Lake House pool the only amenity in the first phase reserved just for the residents of Babcock Ranch. Afterward, swing by the ice cream shop for a waffle cone with one or two A24 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCH At Don Gasgarths Charlotte County Ford WE GO GREEN! INCREDIBLE! 26 Years of Sales and Service You Can Trust!Don Gasgarths Charlotte County Ford U.S. 41, 3156 TAMIAMI TRAIL, PORT CHARLOTTEToll Free: 1-888-313-9652941-625-6141 QUICK LANE: 941-625-1844 Shop 24/7 www.charlottecountyford.com U T Q At Don Gasgarths Charlotte County Ford, we go further by offering the power of choice with fuel efcient, eco-conscious vehicles. Get what you want, how you want it. EcoBoostAVAILABLE ON:CARS CROS SOVERS & SUVS TRUCKS HYBRIDAVAILABLE ON: PLUG-IN HYBRIDAVAILABLE ON: ALL-ELECTRICAVAILABLE ON: The cushions and head restraints in the Escape use a bio-based polyurethane foam derived from the oils of various plant seeds such as soybeans. More than 10 lbs. of scrap cotton from jeans, sweaters, T-shirts and other items material that otherwise would be sent to a landll is used in sound-absorption material. The carpet in all models is manufactured from a blend of postconsumer and postindustrial polyester bers, which reduces the need for new raw materials and helps eliminate waste. The postconsumer bers are derived from recycled plastic bottles. In total, about 25 recycled 20-ounce bottles are in the carpeting. EV Charging Station on Site!
scoops. Enjoy a conversation and a laugh or two on a neighbors front porch. Take a golden hour bike ride with the entire family and stop by the neighborhood center for a cold drink. Alternatively, make a date with a friend or spouse and savor the evenings concert at Town Park together. After the performance, meet another couple or two for a casual dining experience at a downtown lakefront eatery. Let out a sigh of satisfaction while sitting on a park bench and celebrate the moon rising over Lake Babcock. Enjoy the warmth of a nightcap with friends around the backyard fire pit. Counting the endless stars overhead will work better than counting sheep. Fall asleep with a smile. SPRING 2016 A25 wcicommunities.com w w we believe your address can inspire you to be your best.At WCI Communities A backyard is a sanctuary for renewal. A kitchen is where artists are born. A front door is for welcoming neighbors. A living room is where family stories are passed forward. We Are WCI Communities. Your Best Address. In any WCI community with a community development district or special taxing district, certain amenities may be funded by distr ict nancing. All references to clubs, golf clubs and membership opportunities and other amenities are subject to fees, dues and availability. All amenities are subject to change without notice. This advertisement does not constitute an oer to sell real estate in any jurisdiction where prior registration or other qualication is required and furth er information cannot be provided (unless we have already complied with such requirements). Void where prohibited. 16 WCI Communities, Inc. All rights reserved. CGC 031523New homes from the $200s to over $1 million. WCI Communities congratulates Kitson & Partners on the launch of Babcock Ranch.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURESBabcock Ranch launching point for exploring Floridas ecosystem BY EVAN WILLIAMSewilliams@babcockranchtelegraph.comOn sprawling conservation lands, in a mosaic of palmetto flatwoods and cypress dome forests, oak hammocks and dry prairie, among lakes and pastures and under endless sky, opportunities for adventure abound. The Babcock Ranch town development itself plans to include a network of trails connecting to the larger state-managed preserves surrounding it. The town is a starting point for experiencing Floridas diverse natural beauty in many ways. When you have a preserve that big right next door its kind of a big playground, you know? said Steve Smith, general manager of Babcock Ranch. Heres a look at the playground and some of the hiking, biking, jogging, fishing, hunting, kayaking and more that planners expect to accommodate here. When Kitson & Partners Babcock community opens in 2017, the downtown will be a good place to start your adventure. On a 270-acre lake, a retail outfitters store will offer rentals such as kayaks, bicycles, canoes, paddleboards and hiking gear. Its a place where visitors can come out any day, suggests Gary Nelson, senior vice president of planning and development. And download an app for our trail system that can help guide you through the trails, he said. You can select a route and spend an afternoon riding the bike trails and wind up back at the trail head and go have a beer in the beer garden. The Babcock town development of about 18,000 acres will itself be about half conservation land, with eventually about 50 miles of nature, hiking, walking and biking trails that will be open to the general public. A smaller portion will be ready for adventurers when the town opens next year. We hope that a lot of people, not only those who live in Babcock, come in and enjoy the trails, said Debra Dremann, senior vice president of planning and strategic initiatives. Theyll be under development for years to come. The trails will range from paved to primitive, including those that will keep your feet dry while others offer backcountry biking. Everywhere is the chance to observe and photograph abundant wildlife. The majority of the trails will be up and out of the water; its just were going to give the community more of a mixed variety of trails so that you can experience different things out there, said John Broderick, senior vice president of land development. Fishing docks and a dog park will be among the first amenities along the trail experience. There will likely be routes that offer campsites and other programs that will A26 SPRING 2016 BABCOCK RANCH BRIDGES ARE OUR PASSION.BRIDGE. DESIGN. EXPERTS. www.bridging-solutions.com B RIDGES ARE OU U R R P P P A A A S S S S S S I I I O O O O O N N N N N We Are Proud To Be Part Of Kitson & Partners City of The Future Bridging Solutions, Designers of the Entrance Bridge For Babcock Ranch. 843.986.0559 allisonramseyarchitect.com 1003 Charles Street, Beaufort, SC 29902
be developed with input from the community, from residents, businesses and visitors. Its one of those things youre going to kind of react to the market, Mr. Broderick said. There are also plans to restore certain wetland areas to make them destinations. With a project this big theres a lot yet to come, so a lot yet to be defined, Ms. Dremann said. The town trails will also connect to the surrounding 73,000-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve, of which the state takes over management in August. Here, Babcock Wilderness Adventures offers a famous 90-minute ecotour, which takes guests on a trip through old Florida in an old swamp-buggy bus that rambles through a working ranch, the Telegraph Swamp and other landscapes. (Visit babcockwilderness.com for more information.) They wanted to be able to have a person who grew up their whole life in Fort Myers or even New York City who is visiting Southwest Florida come here and see what native Florida really is, Mr. Broderick said. The preserve now offers hikers two trails, including the EcoTour Trail across from Wilderness Adventures, 1 1/2 miles through pine flatwoods. The Footprints Trail includes five miles of varying routes through flatwoods and hammocks, swamps and pasture land. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission administers rules for hunting on about 16,600 acres of the preserve, including for wild hog, quail, turkey and deer. The Babcock town development will eventually have about 50 miles of nature, hiking, walking and biking trails that will be open to the general public. BABCOCK RANCH www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com SPRING 2016 A27 If values arent shared, they arent lived.For more than 90 years, BB&T Insurance Services has never taken a relationship for granted. We set out to earn your business each and every day. Our strong value system helps us determine what is right and reasonable. And to remain focused on doing whats in the best interests of the clients and communities we service. Discover the value a values driven agency can offer for you. Insurance.BBT.comFORT MYERS 13515 Bell Tower Drive Fort Myers, FL 33907 (239) 433-4535 2016 Branch Banking and Trust Company. BB& T OSWALD TRIPPE AND COMPANYNAPLES 889 111th Ave N, Suite 201 Naples, FL 34108 (239) 261-0428 CAPE CORAL 4707 SE 9th Place, Suite 102 Cape Coral, FL 33904 (239) 77 2-5400
A28 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCHPHOTOS BY LUIS HERNANDEZ DAVILA Call Denise Henry 941-628-0856 Awarded by RE/MAX International: #1 RE/MAX Office in FloridaOnly one real estate company can be #1. Nobody Sells More Real Estate.I look forward to watching you grow. Bboc Ranch!SERVICING PUNTA GORDA, PORT CHARLOTTE, ENGLEWOOD & NORTH PORT Welcomedhenry40@comcast.netwww.dhenry.remaxagent.com Denise HenryRealtor | Broker AssociatePnt Gogeous!Welcome toThis is an exciting, innovative community that I am proud to welcome to SW Florida. Promoting good stewardship to our pristine environment is vital for future generations.OWN-MAKING REQUIRES DIVERSE skill sets, each of which contributes to the creation of a place where people will live, learn, work and play. It is a process that must be patient, committed to listening to the land, and mindful that the place being created will define the lives of the people who live there for generations. The making of Babcock Ranch has been in motion for more than a decade. Countless creative sessions, site plan iterations, and the feedback of literally hundreds of people have been part of the effort. Babcocks town makers have stayed the course, and will soon see the first fruits of their labor. This stuff is complex, and not for the meek of heart, said Syd Kitson, Kitson & Partners chairman and CEO. A lot of work needs to go deep into the details. The details make the difference. We have a great town maker team, including our contractors. We didnt go after the lowest bidders. We went after people who are the best. People within Kitson & Partners have been working on this for many years and have never given up. They understood the vision, and were determined to own it and not sell out my partner, Tom Hoban, Pat Bishop, Glenn Geiger, Debra Dremann, Al Dougherty and John Hillman. Theyve done an amazing job. Florida Power & Light has been on the Babcock town-maker team since the beginning and has worked with Kitson to create a town that is solar-powered. An on-property solar panel farm, 75-megawatt power generation plant, distribution network and substation will deliver power to the community. We were able to give FPL over 400 acres for a solar center, Mr. Kitson said. The solar energy that goes to the substation will feed our community first. At night, Babcock will be powered by FPLs grid that runs on natural gas. Our town will have clean energy around the clock. What town makers attempt to do is create intimate places where people can gather, said Debra Dremann, senior vice president of land development for Kitson & Partners. If weve done our jobs right, then people will want to be there and the town will start growing around those great places. A town is something that breathes and has its own life, said Geoffrey McNeill, principal, AGMCi Planning & Design. The questions become, how do you approach a healthy community something that breathes? How do you approach multigenerational communities? How do you create a sense of arrival? Land planning and engineering firm KimleyHorn & Associates distilled the various iterations of the Babcock Ranch site plan into a final design. Their plan respects Babcocks lakes and preserves while allowing for neighborhood parks, green spaces and trail heads. Mitchell & Stark, a land improvement and earth-moving expert, will repurpose the land previously used in Babcocks timber operations to suit the site plan. Land planning is about taking the residential and nonresidential uses that are required to create a place and applying those uses in a way that creates a town and a sense of community, said Bill Waddill, senior vice president, Kimley-Horn & Associates. Understanding the existing features of the land is critical, as well as other principals like walkability, connectivity and sense of place. BY KEVIN CAFFREYSpecial to Babcock Telegraph... the people behind the creation of Babcock RanchT Town-making is an orchestra leveraging all of the musicians and getting them to play together. Al Dougherty, senior vice president, development TownmakersMeet the Syd Kitson, Chairman & CEO Kitson & Partners Geoffrey McNeill, CEO AGMCi Planning & Urban Design Debra Dr emann, Sr. V.P. Planning & Strategic Initiatives Kitson & Partners
FLORIDA WEEKLY SPRING 2016 A29 Take Out Call 239-693-2223 13908 State Road 80 (Across from Riverdale High School) View Our Entire Menu Online at www.ribcity.com Estero: Alico and Ben Hill Grif n (Now Open) Fort Myers: Re ections Pkwy. @ Cypress Lake Naples: Immokalee near Airport Cape Coral: Santa Barbara near Veterans Port Charlotte: US Hwy. 41 & 776 Sarasota: 5231 University Pkwy. @ Honore Catering Delivery Daily Town making is a process that is both art and science, said John Hillman, Kitson & Partners senior vice president of sales & marketing. We start with the land and how best to honor it and work with it we then bring in the land planners, architects and engineers to define the place. Finally, its the social, events and traditions that really create the fabric of the town. Looney Ricks Kiss created the residential architectural guidelines for Babcock Ranch. Craftsman, Farmhouse, Coastal Gulf Vernacular, Spanish and Colonial/West Indies architectural styles will encourage the personal interaction and connectivity that are the foundation of the communitys values. Harvard Jolly Architecture has developed an architectural style for downtown Babcock that mixes contemporary and traditional elements while maintaining a walkable, bikeable ambience that recalls Main Street settings from a bygone era. Skanska, a world leading project development and construction group, will build downtown Babcock Ranch. Town-making is an orchestra leveraging all of the musicians and getting them to play together, said Al Dougherty, senior vice president, development, Kitson & Partners. Its taking the big vision and breaking it down into something that is achievable by making people believe in the end goal. When you have a group of people that believe in it, then it becomes possible. Al Dougherty, Sr. V. P. Construction & Development, Kitson & PartnersBill Waddill, Senior Vice President Kimley-Horn & Associates Brian Penner, CEO Mitchell & Stark Construction Company, Inc. Tyler Kitson, Kitson & Partners John A. Hillman, Sr. V. P. Sales & Marketing, Kitson & PartnersMark Jones, Principal Looney Ricks Kiss Architects
BY NANCI THEORETntheoret@babcockranchtelegraph.com Babcock Ranchs first phase of retail stores will offer hiking and paddling gear, equipment rentals, coffee and ice cream, a gourmet market featuring fresh local produce and prepackaged meals, and a waterfront restaurant embracing the farm-to-table experience. Located in the Discovery Center and the first building in Town Square, the businesses will provide anything visitors and residents need to enjoy the full immersion of nature, leisure and active recreation for which the new town will be known.A commercial outfitter and the separate gourmet market building are slated to open during the first quarter of 2017. Theres even a special place for the family pet planned for 2018.As part of creating a unique lifestyle for residents and a destination for the public, developer Kitson & Partners is including first-phase amenities designed to introduce the towns natural splendor and provide gathering and shopping experiences in Town Square, set against a boardwalk and 268-acre lake backdrop. The 2,000-square-foot outfitters store will cater to those ready to explore the great outdoors on land or on the water with off-road bikes, sidewalk cruisers, kayaks, paddleboards, e-boats and other equipment for purchase or rent. Multiple hiking trails throughout Babcock Ranch plunge nature lovers into a native Florida environment skirting wetlands and offering observation areas and lakefront pavilions. Large lakes and canals are a paddlers dream. People can also call ahead and order a backpack lunch for a day out on Curry Lake Canal or along our hiking trails, says Debra Dremann, senior vice president of planning and strategic initiatives for Kitson & Partners. The outfitter is part of Babcock Ranchs Discovery Center, a place where visitors can learn about the storied history of the working ranch; the environmental, health and wellness initiatives for the town; and explore its amenities, neighborhoods and new homes. The 6,000-square-foot market building foreshadows the inviting architecture of the towns homes and offers the convenience of pre-prepared gourmet meals, produce from local farms and specialty foods to be enjoyed on site, on the trail or at home. The market will feature in-store dining and the new building will also have an ice cream parlor, cafe and a lakefront farm-to-table restaurant. The ice cream and coffee shop is truly one of a kind, Ms. Dremann says. The emphasis on local food at the gourmet market and restaurant aligns with the towns future plans for a community farm, an important component of its health and wellness programs. The buildings second floor is dedicated to A30 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCH Babcock Ranch, ank you for inspiring us all to...RESPECT THE LAND Net Positive Coaching LLCWellness Facility & Program Specialists646-483-8837 email@example.comCommunitys first retail operations created for outdoor adventurers, food lovers
innovation with The Hatchery, a collaborative workspace to launch ideas, rent an office or desk for a day or permanently, and network with other entrepreneurs and business owners. It complements the coffee shop, says Natalee Burns, project coordinator. This collaborative concept is popular in big cities, appeals to all ages and could potentially incubate retail stores and new businesses for the downtown. We also see it serving people after retirement who are dedicating the next phase of their lives to pursuing meaningful purposeful projects and their passions. Health and wellness facilities for people and their pets will be introduced in 2018, says Ms. Dremann. The Babcock Ranch wellness center will offer a fitness facility, doctors offices and other medical-related services such as physical therapy. A planned 1,000-square-foot animal wellness facility will include space for vet checkups and short-term pet-cations. It will also have pet treats and adventure gear, says Ms. Dremann. We hope to expand this operation to a larger facility soon that will offer pet day care and an extended-care pet resort. Like all of the retail operations in Babcock Ranchs Town Square, the animal wellness center will be open to the public. Its ideal for hikers who spend the day on the trail with their dogs then want to dine at a restaurant, says Ms. Burns. As Babcock Ranch grows, an additional retail center is planned south of Town Square.We will continue to seek new businesses and entrepreneurs as the community grows. Job creation is a very high priority in all our initiatives, Ms. Dremann says. SPRING 2016 A31 Were proud to deliver clean and ecient Natural Gas to the homes and businesses of Babcock Ranch. peoplesgas.com
Caloosahatchee River 75 75 82 80 78 78 31 41 41Punta Gorda Port Charlotte North Fort Myers Lehigh Acres Estero Sanibel Captiva Fort Myers Beach Fort Myers Cape Coral Pine Island Placida Babcock Ranch Babcock RanchCharlotte Harbor Pine Island Sound Gulf of Mexico 1 2 F F F o o 3 4 My y My M y 5 6 Travel times fromBabcock Ranch1. Downtown Punta Gorda 21 min. 2. North Fort Myers 19 min. 3. Downtown Fort Myers 21 min. 4. Publix, Fort Myers Shores 9 min. 5. Edison Mall 22 min. 6. RSW 22 min. 1. Downtown Punta Gorda 21 min. 2. North Fort Myers 19 min. 3. Downtown Fort Myers 21 min. 4. Publix, Fort Myers Shores 9 min. 5. Edison Mall 22 min. 6. RSW 22 min. A32 SPRING 2016 www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com BABCOCK RANCH You are one email closer to a solution! for a Complex World EnvironmentalSOLUTIONSOur recognized experts help our clients reach their goals by assisting them in navigating through complex environmental regulations at all levels of government. www.wsourcegroup.comWSource Group LLC 310 West College Avenue Tallahassee, Florida 32301888.597.6872Contact us at: Mark Thomasson, P.E. Vice PresidentMpt@wsourcegroup.comEd Steinmeyer General CounselEas@wsourcegroup.comJeff Littlejohn, P.E. President Jml@wsourcegroup.comJosh M. Adams GIS AnalystJadams@wsourcegroup.comJorge Caspary, P.G Vice PresidentJrd@wsourcegroup.com NAPLES | ORLANDO | MIAMI | PALM BEACH | DAYTONA | TAMPA | FT LAUDERDALE Minimum co 620 Primary Residence Second Homes and Investments Loans up to 3 Million Special Programs for Self-employed borrowers Fixed rates and adjustable Bank Statement Programs Down payments as low as 3% John Heinlein |VP(954) 868-1087 www.approvedamerican.comConventional, Jumbo and Government Loans
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Babcock Ranch is where the wild things are BY EVAN WILLIAMSewilliams@babcockranchtelegraph.com The Babcock Ranch community includes large swaths of natural landscape that, surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of preservation land in Lee and Charlotte counties, is home to a veritable Noahs Ark of creatures. Theres pretty much you name it, said Babcock Ranch general manager Steve Smith. If it exists in Florida its out there. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission describes many of the species that populate the 73,239-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve, including 13 species of animals listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern. Here are just some of your new neighbors:FLORIDA PANTHER (PUMA CONCOLOR CORYI)You would be lucky to spot Floridas official state animal in the wild. Theyre known as solitary creatures with tan coloring in varying shades that disguises them across habitats. Male panthers have a home range of some 200 square miles. Theyre listed as a federally endangered species with an estimated fewer than 200 adults in southern Florida. A34 SPRING 2016 BABCOCK RANCH
FLORIDA BLACK BEAR (URSUS AMERICANUS FLORIDANUS)The states largest land mammal is attracted to forested wetlands and uplands, natural pinelands, hammocks, scrub and shrub lands, though it can be found in any habitat. Adult males usually weigh 250 to 350 pounds or more and females between 130 and 180 pounds. Spotting one of the shy animals is unusual. Estimates show there are about 1,150 black bears in South Florida out of 4,350 statewide. Even though they appear lumbering, black bears can sprint up to 35 mph. WILD TURKEY (MELEAGRIS GALLOPAVO)Southern Florida is home to the oft-hunted Osceola subspecies of wild turkey. It is distinguished from the Eastern wild turkey by its wing feathers, which are darker in appearance because its characteristic white bars are narrow and irregular or broken. Turkeys usually walk, searching for food and flocking together in social groups of 20 or more. But they roost in trees and can fly in short bursts up to 55 mph. NORTHERN BOBWHITE (COLINUS VIRGINIANUS)The bobwhite quail is a roundish, mediumsized species of game bird with reddish brown feathers found in upland longleaf pine forests. In the spring listen for males whistling their lusty bobwhite call. In the fall and winter you could be surprised by a group of quail bursting from the underbrush, as they feed and roost in coveys of eight to 25 birds. CRESTED CARACARA (CARACARA CHERIWAY)Roughly the size of an osprey, this boldly patterned bird with a crest and heavy bill is a member of the falcon family. It is a threatened species, having dwindled in number as its habitat, prairies and range lands, was developed. One of its strongholds today is privately held ranchland. You might also find them hunting ponds or marshes for food or sitting on fenceposts or utility poles scanning for roadkill. GOPHER TORTOISE (GOPHERUS POLYPHEMUS)Able to live for 40 to 60 years in the wild, this ancient beauty originated in western North America some 60 million years ago. With their shovel-like forelimbs, their burrows average 15 feet long and 6 1/2 feet deep, which also protects them from fires. Youll find them in dry sandy areas with sparse tree canopy and plenty of low-growing vegetation to eat. They are also one of the most community-minded or so-called keystone species, sharing their burrows with some 350 other species. Where you find a tortoise burrow you might also find burrowing owls, Florida mice, indigo snakes, opossums, rabbits, gopher frog, Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and gopher crickets. EASTERN INDIGO SNAKE (DRYMARCHON COUPERI)Found in just about any habitat in Florida, this shiny blue-black reptile is a federally protected, threatened species. Also known as the blue gopher, since it inhabits gopher tortoise burrows, it can grow to more than 8 feet long. That makes it the largest native snake in North America, north of Mexico, according to the University of Florida. The indigo is non-venomous, like most of about 50 species of snakes in the Southeastern United States. Only six species are venomous.WILD PIG (SUS SCROFA)Wild hogs are believed to have been introduced by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. You can find them in many habitats, although they prefer oak-cabbage palm hammocks, marshes, sloughs and pine flatwoods. They can grow up to 150 pounds and 5 or 6 feet long and often travel in small family groups, rooting around for food with their protuberant proboscises. Theyre also one of the most popular animals to hunt in Florida besides whitetailed deer. BABCOCK RANCH www.BabcockRanchTelegraph.com SPRING 2016 A35 Congratulations on the launch of Babcock Ranch, a spectacular new community, powered by sun, nature and innovation!Freedom Boat Club, the worlds oldest and largest boat club with 10,000+ members nationwide in 100+ locations, warmly welcomes you to Southwest Florida and is pleased to share your focus on sun, nature and innovation! When youre ready to go boating and escape to the great outdoors Freedom Boat Club is the fun, easy and the best way to go boating in Florida! 17 corporate-owned clubs from Bradenton to Marco Island Choose from 450+ late model boats including in sh ore and offshore shing boats, pontoons, deckboats, bowriders, plus a select sampling of sailboats and kayaks Affor dable m emb ership plans Monthly socials and shing seminars 35+ clubs throughout Florida Reciprocal Acce s s Nationwide Monthly Open House & Fr ee Boat Rides!Call 888-905-7288 or visit Freedomboatclub.comCheers to An Exciting Launch! Ft. Myers (2) Punta Gorda (2) Pine Island Bonita Springs (2) Naples Marco Island Sarasota (2) Casey Key Venice (2) Englewood (2)Bradenton
STOCK when quality matters BROKER PARTICIPATION WELCOMED. ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS REFERENCE SHOULD BE MADE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. NOT AN OFFERING WHERE PROHIBITED BY STATE LAW. PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.Stock is proud to be a featured builder in the exciting new town of Babcock Ranch. This visionary, environmentally sensitive community will create a whole new way of living one that is conscientious, engaged and connected. We are honored to bring our award-winning style and quality to Babcock Ranch, with beautifully designed residences that will reect the hometown feeling of this one-of-a-kind new town. FLStockDevelopment2639 PROFESSIONAL CIRCLE | SUITE 101 | NAPLES, FL 34119 | 239.592.7344StockDevelopment.com FIND OUR QUALITY IN THESE EXCEPTIONAL LOCATIONS: BABCOCK RANCH | BONITA SPRINGS | FORT MYERS | MARCO ISLAND | NAPLES | PALM BEACH | SARASOTA