Kitson & Partners Names New President for Babcock Ranch

Fort Myers, Florida – Kitson & Partners has tapped veteran town builder Rick Severance to lead development of the company’s signature Babcock Ranch development project.

Syd Kitson, Chairman and Founding Partner of Kitson & Partners, said Severance’s knowledge and experience in place-making and green building make him uniquely qualified to serve as president of Babcock Ranch.

“Rick has an outstanding track record that encompasses residential, commercial and resort projects that are livable, engaging and uniquely suited to their environment,” Kitson explained. “Most importantly, he shares our commitment and passion for making Babcock Ranch a leading example for responsible, sustainable growth.”

Designed to accommodate 19,500 residences, an engaging downtown, numerous green spaces, lakes, and nature trails, Babcock Ranch will ultimately be home to approximately 50,000 residents. Kitson & Partners broke ground on the highly anticipated new town of Babcock Ranch last November. Severance joined the team based in Fort Myers on April 4th, and is settling into his new role just in time for formal launch of Phase One of the new town set for April 22nd.

“I have been keeping an eye Babcock Ranch since the plans for creating a truly sustainable, environmentally friendly new town were first announced nearly a decade ago and I am excited by the opportunity to help make it a reality,” Severance said. “I feel fortunate to be coming on at the crest of the wave to lead a great team with true integrity.”

A recognized leader in responsible development, Severance most recently served as Senior Vice President of Planning, Development and Operations for the St. Joe Company based in Watersound, Florida. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer for New Vector Limited, a consulting firm based based in New York. Exceptionally regarded in the industry, the firm’s strategic solutions delivered measurable results for numerous new urban and master planned resort communities and commercial town centers. During his tenure with New Vector Ltd., Severance was also engaged as Chief Operating Officer of Dart Realty Cayman Limited, the developer of Camana Bay and as President of Sandestin Investments which owned and operated a 2,500 acre master planned resort community in the Florida panhandle.

Severance’s consulting career was preceded by his position as CEO of the Seaside Community Development Company, responsible for the direction and development of Seaside, Florida, the award-winning town named TIME Magazine’s ‘Development of the Decade.’ Under his leadership, Seaside made impressive gains, winning the Urban Land Institute’s highest award.

“Babcock Ranch is a place that reflects a decidedly different approach to Town Making,” Kitson said. “Rick brings a wealth of experience to our effort to create real community where residents share a basic hometown pride and desire to participate and belong.”


Kitson & Partners is a private residential and commercial real estate investment and development company based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Kitson & Partners’ portfolio includes 1.5 million square feet of retail shopping centers, 6.8 million square feet of commercial entitlements, and 21,500 entitled residential units. With a 24-year track record and long-term institutional capital, Kitson & Partners’ operational expertise and financial strength are unparalleled in the Florida real estate development business.