Bill Gates company invests $80 million in 20,000-acre smart city

It sounds like a tale from Iron Man where Howard Stark unveils his City of the Future at the Stark Expo. Replace Stark with Bill Gates and place the City of the Future on 20,000 acres west of Phoenix, Arizona, and we have our real-life story.

It was revealed about a week ago that Gates' investment company, Belmont Partners, had purchased a 53% interest in the land for about $80 million. Today, the company revealed some of its plans for the project known as Belmont, dubbing it a "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," the company said in a news release given to Arizona's WPNX Channel 12.

As part of the new city, 3,800 acres will go towards office, commercial and retail space, and 470 acres will be used for public schools. There is also room for 80,000 residential units.

Apparently, the land is in a great spot, given that an interstate is being built that would run through the city and connect with Las Vegas. "Comparable in square miles and projected population to Tempe, Arizona, Belmont will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model," the company said.

Arizona is ready to roll out the welcome mat.

"Bill Gates is known for innovation and those kind of things and I think he picked the right place. He's coming to Arizona," Ronald Schott, executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, told WPNX. "Finally Arizona's getting recognized for being a place for innovation."

It didn't offer many other details, such as when construction would start or if Microsoft will build an office there. It is also unknown if the layout of the city will unlock a new element that can be used as a new power source.

Source: WPNX Channel 12 via Business Insider

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