The first images of a billionaire-backed “utopia” in California that could be built on 50,000 acres of Solano County land have emerged.
The renderings depict rolling green fields, an Italian-looking waterway, kayakers and bustling town squares powered by solar panels and wind turbines.
The land—some 78 square miles between San Francisco and Sacramento—was purchased under the corporate name Flannery Associates. Seven Bay Area billionaires spent $800 million to scoop up the farmland in the hopes of transforming it into a modern metropolis. Flannery launched a website Thursday touting the venture, which said the project’s parent company is called California Forever.
The new urban area would be as walkable as Paris and create tens of thousands of jobs, according to a pitch from venture capitalist Michael Moritz, internal emails reviewed by the New York Times show.
Former investment banker Jan Sramek spearheaded the land acquisition effort starting in 2017. An elite group of tech entrepreneurs and investors joined, including Andreessen Horowitz partners Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Stripe co-founders Patrick and John Collison, billionaire philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs and Moritz, formerly of Sequoia Capital.
Moritz is chairman of The Standard.
Other investors are Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers venture capitalist John Doerr and founders-turned-investors Daniel Gross (who ran AI and search projects at Apple after it acquired his search engine, Cue) and Nat Friedman (who previously served as GitHub CEO).
The controversial plans would have to be approved by all Solano County residents, California Forever’s website states.
“We fully support these principles, and we will ultimately ask the voters to approve the project,” the website states.
California Forever said it was working on opening offices in Vallejo, Fairfield and Vacaville. The group also said it would be:
It asked people to "send any nominations" for the board to email@example.com.
The group claimed it was committed to five design principles:
Flannery also announced a number of “experts” it said it had enlisted to build the project. They include:
Joe Burn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org