A vague website attempts to justify building a new city near San Francisco with pretty pictures and promises of a better life.
Flannery Associates, the company behind land grabs near San Francisco that turned out to be a secret plot to build a city with hundreds of millions in funding from wealthy tech leaders, has revealed a website for the planned city. California Forever is the name of Flannery’s parent company, and its site is filled with sunny pictures of a walkable, green city by the bay.
The text sets up what it says surveys tell it residents want — good local jobs, walkability, safety, etc. — then makes vague promises not to ruin nearby agriculture and to create solar farms. At the bottom, the site promises walkable neighborhoods and to “help solve” infrastructure issues and “protect and support” the nearby Travis Air Force base.
Former Goldman Sachs trader Jan Sramek, who founded Flannery Associates, first convinced Stripe CEO Patrick Collison to invest, then others, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, writes The New York Times. They slowly acquired, in secret, over 50,000 acres around an Air Force base in Solano County, which the Times notes is the poorest in the region.
Solano County Administrator Bill Emlen said the company told him they were investing in family farms and planned to “continue with grazing and farming,” according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “Our policies have been that large-scale residential development takes place in the cities,” he was quoted as saying.
The Times writes that California State Senator Bill Dodd, whom Sramek and a political consultant approached to apologize, said he thought the group was “off to a bad start” if it wanted to build a new city, reported the Times.
On the website, pictures of the theoretical city, which are almost certainly AI-generated (check out the sun setting in front of a mountain), show a sunny green town sitting amid rolling hills, farms, and windmills. The text describes a walkable city with solar farms, open land, and “good-paying local jobs.” The company even says it’s “also interested” in looking at ways to support homeownership using down-payment assistance.
The website is otherwise pretty light on details about the city itself, with no specifics about a population, its size, or how it will sustain itself. An included FAQ addresses potential concerns by gesturing vaguely at things like the need to improve the North Bay Aqueduct. There’s also a significant chunk of the site devoted to California Forever’s plans to convince locals to get on board with surveys and a local advisory board.