Tech leaders spend $800 million to build a new city near San Francisco

A group of wealthy and recognizable leaders hopes to use the land they have acquired outside of San Francisco to build an entirely new city, writes The Verge with reference to The New York Times and Bloomberg.

This is the conclusion reached by local officials when they investigated who is behind the acquisition of land outside San Francisco and for what purpose it is intended to be used. Flannery Associates has spent $800 million over the past five years to buy this land.

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Andreessen Horowitz investors Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Emerson Collective founder Lauren Powell Jobs, and other tech leaders and investors have invested in the project.

According to SFGate, Flannery Associates recently began surveying Solano County residents about plans to build “a new city with tens of thousands of new homes, a large solar power plant, orchards with more than a million new trees, and more than ten thousand acres of new parks and open space.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company has acquired about 52 thousand acres of land for development, most of which is agricultural land. Nevertheless, the land’s purpose is an obstacle to construction. Therefore, Flannery Associates will have to change the zoning, which is not an easy task in California.

It seems that the company is trying to put the initiative to a vote in the district next year to move the project forward. It’s not entirely clear why the investors would want to do this. But there is a hypothesis that this effort is a way to escape San Francisco. Tech figures have criticized local authorities for issues such as crime and homelessness.

As you know, this is not the first time that tech leaders have tried to create their own cities to escape to friendlier places or to support their businesses. For example, Elon Musk and Larry Ellison bought plots of land to create special communities.