Things are moving at Babcock Ranch.
Katz & Associates, a New Jersey commercial real estate firm charged with leasing space at shopping centers in the planned community, has signed 12 new tenants for The Shoppes at Yellow Pine.
Among the merchants coming to the 18,000-acre self-sustaining, eco-friendly master planned community in Lee and Charlotte counties are Marshalls, Ace Hardware and Five Below.
Yellow Pine is a 120,000-square-foot center in the works in Babcock Ranch that will include a lakefront restaurant as well as space for retail and commercial and office tenants. It is expected to open early in 2025.
The center is major step forward for the isolated and far-off community as it continues to build out homes in what is expected to be a city of the future, complete with an 870-acre solar panel farm powering it and its own water reclamation facility.
When done, it is expected to have 19,500 homes and a population of about 50,000 people.
Bringing commercial offerings to the community is a key part of the plan given that it sits on farmland on Highway 31 on the edges of Lee and Charlotte counties. Downtown Fort Myers is about 45 minutes to the Southwest.
In addition to the 12 tenants at Yellow Pine, Katz has also signed leases with the three other tenants for the Crescent B Commons center — Starbucks, Fifth Third Bank, and Fiore + Ela Salon.
Crescent B Commons is a Publix-anchored shopping center, which opened in 2021.
In all, the firm says it has signed 24 leases at Babcock Ranch totaling 120,000 square feet.