Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining a panel of judges for the Southwest Florida Parade of Homes. We started the day off early in Charlotte County headed towards our first three model homes for judging, all located in the new solar-powered city, Babcock Ranch.
You may or may not be familiar with Babcock Ranch, the first solar city in the United States located right here in Southwest Florida. Development on this 19,500 home eco-city began in 2006 with much progress being made including the completion of its 400 acre photovoltaic solar plant that will power the entire town, the downtown area named “Founder’s Square”, and groundbreaking of the Babcock Neighborhood School, a charter school open to students in kindergarden through eighth grade and offering a “place-based” environmentally focused “greenSTEAM” education program. Developed by Kitson & Partners, Babcock Ranch is planned entirely from the ground up with sustainability and environmental conservation in mind. Pretty exciting!!
Driving past the city entrance we were greeted with a bridge passing over one of several lakes separating the neighborhoods. Maybe it was the gloomy day and calm water, but the sight above was so serene that it made me fee like I had traveled somewhere far far away.
The first few model homes have just been completed in the past month by Stock Signature Homes. The “Destin” model (shown above) was the first one on our judging schedule and it ended up being my favorite house of the day. This particular house is located on one of several large lakes in the town, with breathtaking views of the water as soon as you enter the home. I also quite like the open layout of this home which made it easy to move from room to room but also incorporates strategically placed windows so you’re welcomed with natural light everywhere you walk in the house.
The pool cage design with “power beam construction” used to create that oversized view panel is a feature I had not seen before. It certainly takes full advantage of the waterfront view and I’m certain we’re going to be seeing it more in the coming months and years.
It was a wonderful opportunity to join SWFL Parade of Homes to see the development of this unique city first hand and we’ll be keeping a close eye on how it expands. If you’re interested in learning more, the SWFL Parade of Homes opens to the public March 4 – March 7, 2017, including a handful of homes in Babcock Ranch.