The weird tale of California Forever, a tech billionaire instant city

A road sign is posted near a parcel of land recently purchased by Flannery Associates near Rio Vista, California on September 15, 2023. A stealth campaign by Silicon Valley elites with a dream of turning a swath of California farmland into a new age city has ranchers who live here challenging their tactics as well as their motives. The project first surfaced when a mysterious buyer started gobbling up parcels of land in this rural outback between San Francisco and Sacramento. The buyer, first revealed by the New York Times in August, turned out to be a secretive outfit called Flannery Associates. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

A road sign near land recently purchased by Flannery Associates near Rio Vista, California.

JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

FOR the past six years, a mysterious group called Flannery Associates bought up swathes of farmland north of San Francisco in Solano county. Now that it has amassed over 200 square kilometres, it has gone public with plans to build a city and revealed the name of the project, California Forever.

Jan Sramek, CEO of the operation, said he has been working with investors including venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. They…