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Plan for 55,000-acre utopia dreamed by Silicon Valley elites unveiled

Started by RE, Sep 02, 2023, 08:45 AM

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Does this plan include affordable housing for the homeless? What are their projected home prices and rental costs?   How about water usage and availability?  What about long term infrastructure maintenance costs?

Basically, it seems like a few Feudal Landowners wish to own a city.  Likely they will ask for tax abatements and bond issues by the local goobermints and CA state to finance the buildout.

The idea of building a new sustainable city isn't new, we tried to get something like that going with SUN, just we didn't have any Billionaire backers. One thing seems important would be to locate the city in a spot with good resilience against climate change.  Solano county outside Frisco does not seem to qualify.

Plan for 55,000-acre utopia dreamed by Silicon Valley elites unveiled



A utopia halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco built on arable land that will use a million gallons of fossil fuels to build.

This is an old story.  I ran into the story fifty years ago in a spiel pumping up a planned 'utopia' south of Minneapolis.

Same story, clean energy and transportation (yes that was a thing in the 70's) with a planned walkable downtown.  Planned neighborhoods with mixed housing to build community.

The truth is another pile of money bought some farmland to rip up into a suburb for the bay area and the state capital.  Commute by light rail.  It is advertised as a utopia to generate sales just like the Apple Valley MN sales talk I heard fifty years ago was.


"operated using clean energy, that would create thousands of jobs while offering residents reliable public transportation and urban living"

This all reminds me of the article featuring a twenty one year old Donald Trump that I read about that time.  He was saying how he was going to save the world through peace, love, and real estate.

And where is the 'utopia' now?

The population in Apple Valley is 55,237.
The median home value in Apple Valley is $291,400.
The median income in Apple Valley is $91,936.
The cost of living in Apple Valley is 112 which is 1.1x higher than the national average.
The median rent in Apple Valley is $1,458.
The unemployment rate in Apple Valley is 4.3%.
The poverty rate in Apple Valley is 4.7%.

* Treatment Centers in Apple Valley, MN

Utopia or the death throws of capitalism? 

A group of rich people has money and money under capitalism has to grow.  In our system that is the way it is.  Money piles must be invested to make new money piles.  Ad infinitum in a random walk called progress.

Now money piles have grown so large they want to build whole cities.  This indicates trouble, not prosperity.

This is the mindless march of capital.  Capital that has pressed Silicon Valley Royalty into its service.

Another business model is called a utopia.  What's new?  Will this utopia have universal health care?

Does this utopia change the relationship of city dwellers to the means of production?

I do not think so!  But like Apple Valley it will have plenty of addiction services.  And customers for them.


Quote from: K-Dog on Sep 02, 2023, 09:42 AMThe truth is another pile of money bought some farmland to rip up into a suburb for the bay area and the state capital.  Commute by light rail.

Is there already a light rail line built along this 60 mile route?  If not, how much per mile to build it?  Where in San Francisco will it stop?  Will It stop in Silicon Valley?  How many people will actually ride it?

As you say, it's just another suburban subdivision, just bigger and more grandiose.  What are the 1000s of walk-to-work jobs that will be located there?  Will they pay enough to afford those cute little townhouse condos?  Doing WHAT?



There is a direct train departing Oakland and arriving at Sacramento. Trains depart hourly, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 1h 58m.

I'm guessing all a new burb needs is a station.

QuoteThe Capitol Corridor route is primarily financed and operated in partnership with the State of California. It is managed by the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), which partners with Amtrak, the Union Pacific Railroad, Caltrans and the communities comprising the CCJPA to continue development of a cost-effective, viable and safe intercity passenger rail service.

The train is led by Caltrans-owned F59PHI diesel locomotive No. 2005.  Manufactured by General Motors Corporation's Electro-Motive Division (EMD), it has 3,200 horsepower and can reach a top speed of 110 mph. As seen in this image, Capitol Corridor trains generally employ bi-level "California cars." Along with the locomotive, they wear a distinctive blue and yellow paint scheme.

The modern glass and stone Oakland station is located on the eastern corner of Jack London Square. Fronting a natural estuary leading to San Francisco Bay, Jack London Square was the heart of Oakland's port operations, linking the industries of shipping and agriculture, and it remains a working waterfront. Jack London spent much of his boyhood on this waterfront that now bears his name.

* Looking at Google Earth the city might need a new rail line to the existing line on the other side of the air force base. Currently the land is all cow pasture.


An already running rail line certainly makes the development more plausible.  The main thing I doubt exists with this plan is a way to make the cost of the housing match what the people actually earn.  Certainly there will be plenty of cute urban style attached townhouses 2 or 3 stories high with 3-4 bedrooms.  The price of said townhouses in today's RE market would probably be around $1M.

Taking up the same space with the same external architecture would be 2-3 story condos with a 1 or 2 bedroom apt on each floor for singles and couples with no children.  These units probably sell for $300-400K.  Rent on them probably $2-3K/mo.  With similar architecture to Greenwich Village in NYC, the corner lots might have 4-6 story buildings with 4-6 studio or 1 BR units renting at $1500-2000/mo on each floor.

Note with this scheme and street/building architecture there is ZERO parking on the street, and putting in a 1 car garage takes up nearly +the whole ground floor.  So, what's the scheme for getting these folks to the light rail station?  A self-driving EV fleet of Ubers?

Finally, where in the planned Utopia is the housing for the 50% of the population who can afford a max of $1000/mo rent, and often less than that?