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Bill Gates firm puts $80 million behind ‘smart city’ in Arizona

High-speed communications infrastructure, data centers, autonomous vehicles and more.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
November 13, 2017
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Brendan McDermid / Reuters

One of Bill Gates' firms invested $80 million into nearly 25,000 acres of land west of Phoenix, Arizona to build a 'smart city' of the future. The proposed community, called Belmont, will have high-speed communications infrastructure, autonomous cars and data centers. In short, a hyper-connected place suitable for new companies to set up shop in.

"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," Belmont Partners said in a news release, according to KPNX.

The land itself has been eyed for development since the early 90s, according to AZ Central. 3,800 acres will be zoned for commercial and office space and 470 acres will go to public schooling, with projected housing for 80,000. That will make Belmont the area and population of Tempe, according to the Arizona-based Belmont Partners' press release. It will be situated along the projected path of the not-yet-built I-11, which runs from Las Vegas to Mexico.

Otherwise, there's not much known about the development, including when anyone will break ground on the land and start building the Belmont of tomorrow.

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