The man behind plans to build a mysterious new city in Solano County spoke out publicly Friday.
Jan Sramek, a former Goldman Sachs trader, has fueled a lot of worry and speculation after a years-long land grab near Travis Air Force Base.
“This is not about me,” Sramek said. “This is about the future of Solano County and what we can do here.”
Sramek, 36, is also the CEO of California Forever, the parent company of Flannery Associates. Over the past five years Flannery has bought more than 50,000 acres of land surrounding Travis Air Force Base and becoming the largest single land owner in the county.
Some deep-pocket Silicon Valley tech investors have bought into the project as well, spending more than $800 million so far.
Newly released renderings depict a community with walkable neighborhoods, shopping, dining, renewable energy and open space.
Sramek this week started meeting with local and federal officials and revealed plans to build the new city in Solano County.
“Do I trust them? No. Not at all,” Congressman John Garamendi said.
Garamendi said the plans just do not add up. He met with Sramek and two of his consultants Friday and said there are far too many unanswered questions, including exactly whether foreign investors are involved, and who they are.
“Show me the cards that are in your hand and I’ll look at those cards,” Garamendi said. “Is there a joker there?”
Garamendi said his prime concern is the impact and security of Travis Air Force Base.
“If they in anyway fail to protect Travis Air Force Base, and his mission, this community will up and slap them down,” Garamendi said.
Infrastructure issues, including transportation and water, are also expected to be huge hurdles.
Garamendi said the group plans to put an initiative on the ballot in November 2024 that would allow them to rezone the land. He is urging the public not to be fooled by their promises.
“I listened to a fellow who is one of the very best salesmen I’ve ever run into,” Garamendi said. “We’ll see what he’s actually selling and what he actually delivers. Are they the same? I have my doubts.”
But Sramek insists his vision ensures better days ahead for Solano County and the region. He said community members have been reaching out in support.
“We’ve been very encouraged by a lot of people who said ‘I know there’s been a lot of speculation in the media about this, but I think this is an outstanding idea, and it’s giving me new hope in Solano County and now I want to stay and work with you.’ And so we look forward to doing that, Sramek said.”
California Forever has not unveiled a timeline, but Garamendi said it could take decades and is urging the group to be transparent. The congressman also said the project does not just impact Solano County, but all of Northern California.
Source: NBC Bay Area