Nested some 45-minutes West of Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, lies a massive, 25,000 acre plot of undeveloped land, which according to local NBC News affiliate, KPNX, was recently acquired for $80M by an investment firm owned by billionaire Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates.
With the backing of Arizona’s Technology Council and local real estate development group, Belmont Partners, Gates and his colleagues allegedly plan to develop the barren parcel just South of Tonopah, AZ, into a massive, tech-savvy metropolis dubbed Belmont, Arizona.
Belmont, Arizona: Smart City
“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,” said Arizona-based Belmont Partners in an official news release, while adding that the development will be “Comparable in square miles and projected population to Tempe, Arizona,” and will embody the first “purpose-built city” in the West, centered around a “flexible infrastructure model.”
According to the report, Belmont, Arizona’s 25,000 acres will be divvied up into a number of strategically functional sub-sections — including space for an estimated 80,000 single-family dwellings, in addition to 3,800 acres of office, commercial, and retail developments, and another 470+ acres for public schools.
“Bill Gates is known for innovation and those kind of things and I think he picked the right place,” added Ronald Schott, executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, who noted that the land Gates purchased in is a “good spot” because of its location relative to Arizona’s proposed Interstate I-11 freeway, which would cut straight through the center of Belmont and connect the community with both Phoenix and Las Vegas.
There’s currently no timeline in place for when Belmont’s development will get underway; however it’s definitely worth noting that the community will merely be the latest effort to create functional “smart cities” across the U.S.