Bill Gates drops $105m in Arizona to build a futuristic 'smart city'

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A Bill Gates-run investment firm is hopping on the thriving smart city trend and recently paid $80 million to acquire 25,000 acres of land in Arizona with plans to build a technologically-integrated community from the ground up.

The investment will help create Belmont, "a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology", according to a press release issued November 3.

Gates' Arizona investment has echoes of previous attempts to build smart cities away from the rest of civilization. It's situated 45 minutes west of downtown Pheonix off I-10 freeway near Tonopah.

The city will be known as Belmont after real-estate developer Belmont Partners, the company behind the project.

Belmont will be embedded with an internet system installed as it is built.

Plans call for as many as 80,000 homes and 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space.

While few people now live in the area, the plans call for as many as 80,000 homes and 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space.

Belmont (as the town will be called) will feature 80,000 residential units, public schools, and commercial buildings.

According to Business Real Estate Weekly of Arizona, the Belmont development is expected to rely heavily on the future construction of Interstate 11, which is planned to go right through Belmont, connecting it to both Phoenix and Las Vegas, as well as several other states along the proposed route.

According to Belmont Partners, the real estate firm managing the project, the city 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".

Only a week later after the Toronto announcement, Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest $500 billion in a new global hub, created to push the boundaries of innovation and exemplify the future of civilization.

The city would have a population of about 182,000, fairly comparable to that of nearby Tempe, Arizona.

Belmont Partners expressed that the land transformation would be like an unused-empty slate turned into a purposeful city standing on flexible structural design. "He's coming to Arizona", Schott said.

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