Syd Kitson’s “Babcock Ranch” is United State’s first solar-powered town
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — With deep pockets and an environmentalist’s zeal, retired American football player Syd Kitson dreamed up a plan to build the United States’ first solar-powered town on a vast swath of rural land in southwest Florida.
Now, nearly a decade after he first purchased the 91,000 acres known as Babcock Ranch, construction is bustling at what developers say will be the nation’s first eco-friendly city, built from the ground up, with enough room for some 50,000 people.
No homes have been built yet, but the first residents will move in by early next year says Kitson, 57, who played professional football for five years—first with the Green Bay Packers and later, the Dallas Cowboys—before he became a real estate developer.
“We are building a new town together. It is just remarkable,” Kitson told a crowd of several hundred visitors at an Earth Day event last week to show off plans for Babcock Ranch to the public. “It is our mission to prove that preservation and responsible growth can work together.”
Photo courtesy of Babcock Ranch