Former Microsoft Corp. CEO and founder Bill Gates’s real estate investment firm is looking to make cities more hi-tech. The investment firm has just splashed out $80 million on a large plot of land in Arizona, with the aim of building a smart city.
The group is called Cascade Investment, and its just purchased around 25,000 acres of land near Tonopah, a small town 50 miles west of Phoenix. Most of the desert land lies undeveloped at this stage.
The group is to team up with Belmont Partners, which will build the smart city. The plan calls for almost 80,000 residential units to be built, along with 470 acres of land devoted for schools, and 3,800 acres for commercial developments such as offices and retail buildings. There will also be around 3,400 acres of open land for parks and such.
The plan is for the smart city to be called Belmont, and it will be roughly the same size as nearby Tempe, Arizon, which encompasses 40 square miles and is home to a population of around 160,000 people.
“Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles, and autonomous logistics hubs,” Belmont Partners said in a press release.
Belmont Partners has not yet specified when construction will begin.