Amazon and Bill Gates have something in common beyond enjoying the profits of their technological advances—both are heavily involved in Arizona real estate.
Amazon is now the largest industrial real estate tenant in the Phoenix regional market, according to CoStar Group, which specializes in commercial real estate research. The online retail company rents 4.7 million square feet and has close to 6,000 employees in the area, stated a story in the Phoenix Business Journal.
Gates spent $80 million in November to buy a majority stake in 25,000 acres of real estate an hour west of Phoenix in Belmont, along the proposed interstate 11 between Las Vegas and the Valley, according to a Journal story.
Gates may develop Belmont as a “smart” city powered by solar energy, smart homes and featuring autonomous cars, according to Grady Gammage Jr., an attorney who represents Belmont Partners, which sold Gates the land.
A story in Slate.com describes the deal as not being a “smart” one, but rather an old school bid to make a quick buck in real estate speculation. At $7,500 an acre, the story calls it an “insanely low price for residential land in a metropolitan area,” but dismisses it as a “disgraced concept in urban planning” because of its wasteful use of arid land as the basis of the “resurgence of a dormant Phoenix economy founded on population growth, real estate speculation, and cheap land.”