Tech Leaders Prepare To Build Fresh City Near San Fran

Flannery Associates, an enigmatic firm, acquired approximately 52,000 acres of land around Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, California, for a staggering $800 million. The New York Times revealed that this venture was propelled by the dissatisfaction of tech and finance giants with “bad California policies.”

Although the firm has been buying land since 2018, becoming the largest landowner in Solano County, concerns have arisen due to the Air Force base’s proximity, prompting questions about the firm’s backers and potential national security implications.

In some instances, residents were given offers exceeding market prices for land that wasn’t on sale. Flannery Associates has maintained that it is U.S.-owned and funded, describing the investors’ moves as a bid to “diversify their portfolio.”

On Friday, a breakthrough report from the Times disclosed the investor lineup, showcasing tech and finance magnates like Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, Emerson Collective’s Laurene Powell Jobs, Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz, Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Patrick and John Collison from Stripe, investors Daniel Gross and Nat Friedman, spearheaded by ex-Goldman Sachs trader Jan Sramek.

Their vision? A city reminiscent of Paris or New York City’s West Village. A thesis by Moritz from 2017 shed light on the motivation, decrying California’s policies and emphasizing the potential benefits, such as easing housing and congestion woes in Silicon Valley. He was optimistic about the possible ROI, commenting, “If realized as envisioned, this would be a phenomenal investment.”

Investors must first navigate zoning laws to transform this agricultural-zoned land into their envisioned utopia. Locals from neighboring Fairfield were given a hint of the future project through a survey, painting a picture of a “college town” environment. The described plans include housing for thousands, a solar farm, over a million new trees, and expansive parks.

Fairfield’s Mayor, Catherine Moy, has voiced concerns about the proximity to Travis Air Force Base and has called for a dialogue. Speaking on behalf of the investor group, Brian Brokaw expressed their commitment to Solano County’s future and announced an upcoming public discussion to provide more insights.