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52,000 acres sold near Air Force base; mystery buyers identified

U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extenders line tarmac during a recent storm that blanketed the surrounding hills with snow at Travis Air Force Base, California, Feb. 24, 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)
August 30, 2023

The mysterious buyers behind the $900 million purchase of roughly 52,000 acres of land in rural California, including property near Travis Air Force Base, have been identified.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that over 100 mysterious property purchases by Flannery Associates LLC were completed by 36-year-old Jan Sramek, a former trader with Goldman Sachs.

Sramek was reportedly backed by $800 million from investors such as LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, former Sequoia Capital chairman Mike Moritz, venture capitalists Chris Dixon and Marc Andreessen and Laurene Powell Jobs.

Over the past several years, the investors anonymously purchased $900 million worth of rural land, including land near the Travis Air Force Base, prompting the Air Force, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and the Department of Agriculture to launch investigations into the mysterious purchases, according to The Daily Caller.

According to The New York Times, the purchases made under Flannery Associates were intended to provide the property needed to develop a new city in the region.

The Times explained that the mysterious investors will now be forced to raise support from local organizations, lawmakers and federal agencies, some of which spent several years in an attempt to uncover the identity of the mysterious investors.

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In 2017, Sramek reportedly proposed the idea of a new city in California that would provide thousands of jobs for residents and feature new construction designs and new forms of governance to various investors.

“We are proud to partner on a project that aims to deliver access to good-paying jobs, affordable housing, clean energy, sustainable infrastructure, open space, and a healthy environment to residents of Solano County,” Brian Brokaw, a Flannery spokesperson, announced. “We are excited to start working with residents and elected officials.”

The identity of Flannery’s investors and the intention of the firm were not announced until recently, despite the involvement of federal lawmakers.

“We got the F.B.I. and Treasury involved,” Democratic California Rep. John Garamendi said.

Garamendi and Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson spent four years trying to identify the mysterious buyers of 52,000 acres of property in California due to suspicion from people in the region of Solano County, California.

“I couldn’t find out anything,” Garamendi said.