CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - After years of designing and planning, a "City of Tomorrow" could break ground in the not-so-far-off future! Despite economic setbacks and delays, developers say Babcock Ranch, located along state road 31 in Eastern Charlotte County is still moving forward.
WINK News spoke with officials who say they've just been waiting for the right moment.
"If you told me it would be 2013 and we were still talking about getting started, I would have said you're crazy!" said developer Syd Kitson.
Kitson & Partners have been talking about building Babcock Ranch since 2006. The proposed community sits on 17,000 acres in Charlotte County and near more than 70,000 acres of natural preserve.
"You're going to have almost 19,500 homes, 6-million square feet of retail office space. It's a town, no gates. It's not a golf course community," he said.
Kitson says the city will harness the power of nature.
"We're going to have a solar power generating facility, creating the first solar city. And from that we're hoping to take that into the homes and the community, create a smart grid, smart homes and the technologies that can really enhance people's lives," Kitson said.
"It's good to hear, but we heard that in 2006 and we've heard it ever since," said Former State Representative, Dr. Paige Kreegel.
Kreegel supported legislation back then to build Babcock Ranch. "I think it'd be great for the area, bring a lot of jobs, help the economy," he said.
"We really hope we will break ground either late this year or first quarter of 2014," said Kitson.
Kitson says they have been working during the recession, behind the scenes, setting the stage for the future.