The Wall Street Journal explains David Hall’s communities of the future.
David Hall lives in a 3,500-square-foot, redbrick home in a quiet suburb of Provo, Utah. In five years, he and his wife, Karen, plan to move into a space of 200 square feet.
“Big houses are lonely,” says Mr. Hall, 69.
The Halls are going to a unit in a 24-room Provo hotel that Mr. Hall is developing.
Mr. Hall says he has spent about $100 million—and eventually plans to spend $250 million, or roughly his entire net worth—on planned communities.
Each community will house around 20,000 people in 200-square-foot rental apartments.
Residents won’t have cars: They will get around through enclosed pedestrian walkways and a transportation system. Greenhouses will provide food; retail stores, offices, labs and workshops on the ground floors will provide employment and services. Multipurpose community buildings will provide space for sports, meetings and education.
For this project, called NewVistas, Mr. Hall has been buying up entire neighborhoods—about 200 acres of land in Utah, including about 40 houses, and another 1,200 acres in Vermont, including 10 houses.
Mr. Hall says his goal is to stop not only suburban sprawl but also the isolation that often accompanies it.
Mr. Hall, who aims to buy 5,000 acres in Vermont, dismisses the opposition as “Not In My Back Yard” syndrome. He says real-estate agents are flocking to him and he’s offering premiums for the homes, often as much as twice their values. A full-blown community is still decades away, he says.
The New Vistas project has received much local opposition as can be seen in the video below.