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Bill Gates spends $80 million to create a "smart city" in Arizona

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What do you get for the man who has everything? His own city, apparently.

An investment firm run by Microsoft founder Bill Gates is buying up 25,000 acres in Arizona to create a planned community.

The firm, Belmont Partners, has spent $80 million to launch development on a large plot of land is about 45 minutes west of downtown Phoenix, in a region called the West Valley. The proposed community will be roughly the size of Tempe, Arizona, according to Belmont -- 40 square miles and about 160,000 people

The site lies on the route of a proposed highway, I-11, that would connect it to Phoenix.

The new city will be called, appropriately, Belmont.

Most of the land will be used for as many as 80,000 residential units, with 3,800 acres for to office, commercial and retail space and 470 acres will be used for public schools, Belmont Partners said, according to local news station 12 News Arizona.

In a press release, the firm said it planned to build "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."

It's not the first time the Arizona desert has been the setting for a utopian dwelling project. But details on the Gates-backed project--including when construction will start and who will live there--were not immediately available. 

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