Published: Dec 31, 2010 4:40 AM EST
Updated: Dec 31, 2010 1:40 AM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - The "city of tomorrow" could get a few steps closer to reality in the new year.  

Babcock Ranch promises innovation and jobs in a solar-powered community on the Lee-Charlotte county line.

"The city of tomorrow is happening today, no question about it," said developer Syd Kitson.

The first signs of development could happen as soon as next year, transforming the 92,000 acre Babcock Ranch into a city.

"The first people that move in to Babcock Ranch are going to be able to enjoy and experience things other people haven't been able to," Kitson said.

Animations from Kitson's company show the promise: an all solar-city with groundbreaking technology, like cars that drive themselves.  Kitson says he's already talked to several fortune 500 companies about being part of the new city, led by IBM.

"The key is, is having them bring jobs," Kitson explained.  "And each one we're talking to is committed to bringing jobs to Babcock Ranch.  Setting up shop there, and taking all the unque technologies and implementing them into the new city."

Kitson says the community could start with one to two thousand jobs, followed by housing.

But first must come the power.  Florida Power and Light is set to build a solar array like this in 2011.  If the legislature approves it.  Lawmakers failed to approve similar legislation is past sessions.

Kitson says those delays, and the downturn in the economy and real estate market, has given his group time to secure the necessary permits, and move toward visible progress in the new year.

"There were a lot of people who said we wouldn't get to where we are right now," Kitson said.  "Actions are always better than words, so just keep watching."