Tech industry executives have been identified as the key players buying up vast tracts of land in Solano County, California, near a U.S. Air Force base.
Their objective is an ambitious urban development project, according to a report by The New York Times.
The Silicon Valley leaders, operating as Flannery Associates, invested approximately $900 million to purchase acres of farmland, often at prices above market rates, according to the report.
Their vision is to establish a futuristic city, the report noted.
To realize this dream, they must now secure the endorsement of local stakeholders, legislators and federal bodies.
Jan Sramek, an ex-Goldman Sachs trader, in 2017 proposed the concept of creating a pedestrian-friendly Californian city, the report noted.
The envisioned metropolis is described as one that will generate thousands of employment opportunities and serve as an experimental ground for innovative architectural designs and governance models.
This idea attracted attention and investment from tech giants like LinkedIn’s co-founder Reid Hoffman, investors Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, and billionaire venture capitalist Michael Moritz, the report added.
The true intentions and identities of Flannery’s executives remained shrouded in mystery until the end of August.
“We got the F.B.I. and Treasury involved,” said Democratic California Rep. John Garamendi, who claimed he only became aware of Flannery’s identity after the Times contacted him.
Federal agencies like the Air Force, Department of Agriculture and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States investigated who was buying so much land near a critical military base.
Speculations questioned if the land purchased would be used for wind farms, ports or even as a base for Chinese foreign influence operations.
Flannery previously informed Solano County it was “owned by a group of families looking to diversify their portfolio from equities into real assets, including agricultural land in the western United States,” according to a July report from The Wall Street Journal.
Garamendi, along with Democratic California Rep. Mike Thompson, tried to uncover the company’s identity, spurred by growing suspicions among Solano locals.
“I couldn’t find out anything,” Garamendi remarked.
Flannery has acquired at least 20 land parcels surrounding Travis AFB, which hosts a unit instrumental in facilitating global U.S. military transport operations, according to a Daily Caller report.
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