A real estate investment firm run by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates bought around 25,000 acres of land not far from Phoenix (AZ) earlier this week for $80 million.
The company, Belmont Partners, plans to use the spot to build its very own city and has caused quite a stir with visions of what this techno-utopia might look like.
This new smart metropolis will be comparable in size and projected population to nearby Tempe (AZ).
But the most exciting prospect for the office products industry could be the flexible infrastructure model it will all be based around.
Belmont said it aims to create a forward-thinking community with a “communication and infrastructure spine” that embraces cutting-edge technology.
The land straddles the proposed route of the I-11 freeway that will connect the city right through to Las Vegas, so this won’t end up being some dusty backwater. With Gates at the wheel, it is set to be a hive of innovation and act as a pilot for new technologies that can change urban spaces across the US.
It is being designed around high-speed digital networks, while new manufacturing technologies and distribution models have the potential to turn this into a powerhouse of industry.
Robotics and automation are set to take centre stage, meaning its inception could mark a watershed for the adoption of this technology across industries in the US and beyond.
What’s more, Belmont’s plans also include optimising its transport infrastructure for autonomous cars, vehicles and logistics hubs.
And it is ideally placed to do so. Just last week, Google’s driverless car subsidiary Waymo said it planned to test a fleet of vehicles in Phoenix.
With round 3,800 acres of the overall development set aside for office, commercial and retail space, there is plenty of room for innovators to lay down roots.
Phoenix (AZ), USA