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Jim Klinge, broker-associate
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Jim Klinge
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Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future, Thinking of Building? | 5 comments | Print Print

Smart City

This is a fantastic idea for retirees who don’t need to worry about traveling to work every day – a futuristic city out in the boondocks!  Sun City in Phoenix was the first 55+ retirement community built in the country, and when in opened in 1960, it was way out of town at 99th Ave.

Bill Gates wants to build at the A on the map – which is 339th Avenue!  But he is proposing more than a retirement community – this plan is for the ‘smart city’ of the future.


Bill Gates is building a “smart city” in Arizona which will feature driverless cars and “cutting-edge” technology.

Belmont Partners, one of the Microsoft founder’s investment firms, has spent $80m (£61.1m) on buying and developing the new community near Tonopah, west of Phoenix.

Mr Gates’ goal is to create a smart city called Belmont on the nearly 25,000 acres of land.

Everything about Belmont will be “forward-thinking”, the company said in a statement.  A total 3,800 acres will be dedicated to office, commercial and retail space.  Another 470 acres will be used for public schools, and homes will be built on 80,000 acres of the land.

Arizona, which neighbors California, home to tech hub Silicon Valley, has long been trying to become the go-to place for innovative technology companies.

Mr Gates’ decision to build his new city in Arizona will be a major boost for the state which has lifted many rules on self-driving vehicles to become a tech hub.

Over the past two years Waymo, Google’s driverless car business, Uber, Lyft, General Motors and Intel have been testing hundreds of autonomous cars in the city of Phoenix.

Mr Gates, the world’s second richest man after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, plans to make driverless cars the norm in the new 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 centres, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs,” a statement from Belmont Partners said.

Ronald Schott, executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, said the location will be perfect for a new city as the proposed I-11 freeway will run right through its centre and connect it to Las Vegas.

He told Fox News: “Bill Gates is known for innovation and those kind of things, and I think he picked the right place. He’s coming to Arizona.

“Finally, Arizona’s getting recognised for being a place for innovation.”

Details of when the construction works will begin have not yet been released.


  1. Walt Disney was the original “smart city” visionary. He had extraordinary plans for a “city of the future” on what is now Disneyworld and EPCOT in Florida. Unfortunately he passed away before even getting started on his vision, and it became just another entertainment complex. (Read “Realityland” by David Koenig) I wonder if Gates and Co. have similar grand ambitions, or if they just plan to extend the Phoenix suburban sprawl.

  2. “Build -his- city?” Cool. So he will be living there? Seems “ownership” his and “residence” his are not the same thing.

  3. “Build -his- city?”

    An experiment in social engineering, no doubt.

    The $80 million invested is pocket change for him, so nothing to lose and could be a hero in the end.

  4. More suburban sprawl after all…

    Thanks Ross! Good grief, more shoddy reporting – it’s just another subdivision.

    Water will be a big problem, especially if they build out the entire 224,000 housing units – that’s a half-million people in the middle of nowhere!

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