Bill Gates linked to $80 million deal to build ‘smart city’ in Arizona

A Bill Gates investment firm has purchased nearly 25,000 acres of land for $80 million to build a smart city community in Arizona, about 45 minutes outside of Phoenix, the Arizona Republic reported.

Arizona-based real estate investment group Belmont Partners says the municipality will have high-speed digital networks, data centers, self-driving cars and other new technologies built into its infrastructure.

The Republic discovered the connection to Gates by linking an investment group called Mt. Lemmon to the tax mailing address of the Seattle-area headquarters of Cascade Investments and an office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation MSFT, +0.14%  .

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 Nov. 3.

Mark Hulbert: Here’s how to get rich like Gates and Zuckerberg

The community “will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model,” according to Belmont Properties.

Read: 5 ways to help fight Alzheimer’s — according to Bill Gates

Belmont’s proximity to Phoenix could further develop the region as a hub for self-driving cars. Alphabet’s GOOGL, +0.04%   autonomous car company, Waymo announced plans to test a fleet of its driverless vehicles in Phoenix last week.

Read: Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to build tech-focused Toronto development

The plan calls for 80,000 residential units, in addition to 470 acres for public schools and 3,800 acres designated for offices, commercial buildings and retail outlets. A start date hasn’t yet been reported.

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