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Bill Gates-owned company purchases land in West Valley

Bill Gates, Microsoft Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks during the Global partners meeting on neglected tropical diseases, NTD, at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

PHOENIX — An investment group headed by Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates has purchased more than 20,000 acres of land in the West Valley.

The city of Buckeye, whose planning zone runs adjacent to the 24,800-acre Belmont development near the White Tank Mountains, confirmed the news.

The Phoenix Business Journal reported that Cascade Investment LLC paid $80 million for the land.

The Belmont area could hold as many as 80,000 homes and acres of commercial real estate — about the size of Tempe. It could also house solar power facilities.

Its development will hinge on the construction of Interstate 11, which would connect Phoenix and Las Vegas upon its completion.

However, it appeared the freeway was years away despite some construction already in the works. I-11 would follow portions of U.S. 93 and 95, which connect the Valley to Las Vegas but a full route had not yet been determined.

“Envisioning future infrastructure from scratch is far easier and more cost efficient than retrofitting an existing urban fabric,” Grady Gammage, who helped Cascade Investment seal the deal, said in a statement to the Journal.

“Belmont presents such an opportunity. We know of virtually no other property in the United States so strategically positioned, already entitled, and yet presenting a nearly blank slate of opportunity.”

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