Slate reports that Bill Gates investment in Arizona land is a regular real estate investment

There was a flurry of speculation that Bill Gates was going to build a smart city in Arizona but it is almost certainly an ordinary real estate investment.

Bill Gates uses Cascade Investment for investment in stocks like railways, waste removal, and agricultural equipment companies. It has real estate investments like the Four Seasons and other hotel companie. They use subsidiary LLCs like the one that just spent $80 million on Arizona desert to prevent sellers jacking up the price if they believe Bill Gates is investing.

The 25,000 acres in Belmont isn’t the only big parcel of desert land being targeted for development in the area. Last September, a California company spent $80 million on 10,000 acres in Buckeye, hoping to built 40,000 new homes. Adjacent to Belmont is Douglas Ranch, whose 34,000-acre master plan allows for an astounding 104,000 housing units and 290,000 residents.

The state of Arizona is working on a long-deferred dream to build a new highway, Interstate 11, to connect Phoenix to Las Vegas. It would run right through this arid valley, putting those parcels along a big transportation corridor.

The prospect of the Interstate highway has set off a land rush, as a local news station reported in July. Investors are betting the highway—although it remains virtually unfunded, and although environmental impact studies are expected to last years—will finally be built.