The Guardian »

Before last week, no one knew who exactly was behind the purchase of agricultural plots and empty land in south-eastern Solano county, about 60 miles from San Francisco. The land bought by the firm primarily stretches between Fairfield, home to 120,000 people as well as the Anheuser-Busch Co brewery and the Jelly Belly jelly bean factory, and the small city of Rio Vista.

In all, the group spent nearly $1bn and became the largest landowner in the county, even buying property around the nation’s busiest air force base. The mystery reportedly drew the attention of the US military and FBI.

Last week, the New York Times revealed that Flannery Associates was backed by a group of prominent Silicon Valley investors and aimed to build a new city, operated using clean energy, that would create thousands of jobs while offering residents reliable public transportation and urban living.