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Telosa Project – The Future City in Buckeye, AZ?

We've had plenty of input on some of the more progressive and upbeat news coverage about new community developments in AZ, but nothing as eyebrow-raising as the city proposal for Telosa.

From the backstory, to how Arizona is just one of the locations where this futuristic '15-Minute' city is to be developed we'll take you through everything you may, or may not, care to know about the Telosa project.

The Telosa Dream is Born

Telosa concept illustration

Most of the major cities across the globe were formed and built on the heels of society's progress through the idea of business. In actuality, nearly all of the major cities that have gone on continued success revolve around one single principle – water.  Most of us who live throughout Phoenix all know that water is not as abundant as we would like - especially if you live in some of the newest developments in the west valley like Verrado, Cashion, Estrella Mountain (and all of the other new commintues popping up near them). But don’t tell that to Marc Lore who sees big plans for Arizona’s future city: Telosa.

But not just any future city since Telosa will encapsulate and embody the power of people who will run the city through equity and goodwill to others. It might sound impossible to pull off and obviously the idealistic thought of an entire city being owned and run by its own citizens is outlandish, but the proposal goes much deeper.

Telosa is a new concept that has only been floating around since 2021.

Perhaps it’s better to get an idea of this city concept by learning a bit more about Marc Lore and his dream of the future.

Who is Marc Lore?

Marc Lore

Among all of the biggest billionaires you know by name already, there is no shortage of Elon Musks, Marc Zuckerbergs, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos to fill up the top 1% of the richest people, but why isn’t Marc Lore sound familiar? Well to be exact, Marc Lore does hit the #1 top slot for CEOs who are at the top. But this was back in 2020, and it’s been a long time since he made his big sale for Walmart Inc. in 2016.

He’s the founder of Diapers.com and Jet.com and also has a healthy stock ownership of Archer Aviation (ACHR) worth 70 million or just over 29.87% shares. But his latest business venture may perhaps be the biggest and boldest risk that he's undertaken. He started as a direct competitor for Jeff Bezos with his first big empire effort Jet.com, which was remarkable back then because it undercut Amazon’s pricing.

But much like the powerful people we see in this world, sometimes all it takes to see the real person is to look behind a thinly-veiled curtain…

meme from wizard of oz

It seems that Marc Lore got his feet wet in the lucrative e-commerce trade with Diapers.com back in 2005! You can hear what his motivations were in this exclusive podcast from NPR:

 But would you be surprised to know that Marc and his original partner Vinit Bharara are both big New York Yankee fans?

In the early days when Marc was working as an Investment Banker and Vinit was a litigation Lawyer. Both grew up together in New York and New Jersey as kids, so they weren’t strangers at all when they decided to start their first company together called ThePit.com which specialized in the early trading card stock market in the late 90s. This was later sold to Topps in 2001 for a whopping 5.7 million in cash.

The deal was secured by Vinit who had previously worked for Topps on a previous legal project with the law firm he worked for. The two immediately jumped onto their next big internet e-commerce project Diapers.com which was born from Marc's first child in 2003. He goal was to corner the early online market for diapers and baby care products. They finally bought the domain name 1-800-diapers.com for a few hundred thousand dollars…

By the mid-2000s, they were able to secure this to Diapers.com and had over 40,000 products that were offered. They hit their second biggest deal when they sold it to Amazon in 2010 for 545 million dollars! This deal netted the two no less than a 500 million cash payment with the remaining 45 million that went to debt and related problems by another business they ran called Quidsy which was another baby product venture.

If you’re starting to see a pattern here, there is much more to this story that makes Marc Lore a bigger player in the internet shell game industry. Not that there was anything wrong with what they were doing, Vinit helped draft the settlement payments for two Swiss Banks in payout that were worth 1.25 billion dollars for Holocaust survivors (get this) across Eastern Europe. This was settled in 1998, just a couple years before Marc and Vinnie decided to partner together.

Combining their childhood friendship and knack for making money, creating big business ideas, and then selling them to the highest bidder is how Marc got to where he is today.

Yet the exact circumstances of why Amazon decided to make the offer to buy Diapers.com along with other business startups is a bigger mystery that neither Marc or Vinit won't confess.

And this is where the concept of Telosa starts to go south.

Is Telosa another sell-out Dream?

Marc and Vinit

The relationship between Marc and Vinit might be highly successful from a financial perspective, but they never forgot their childhood love of sports and their interest in the sports industry. They pooled their money together for another big startup called Mojo which is a sports stock market that allows fans to invest stock in real sports players. With no more than 10 million that they pooled together in 2020, they could wrangle an astounding 100 million in two years.

This came with the help of business associates and angel investors. With this, they were able to launch legally in New Jersey under the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Their plans are to get as many states involved that allow this type of online gambling that's legally allowed. We don't know if this will eventually be sold to bigger players for a bigger payout but only time will tell. Yet this may be where Marc is funding his biggest startup to date- Telosa. 

What makes Telosa so ambitious?

Telosa city infrastructure

Telosa is a dream that's so big, it requires mental gymnastics to understand the logic behind the concept. It's a city where everything will be within 15 minutes of walking (or biking) distance from everything a citizen needs. Garbage will be buried underground. The inhabitants would be endowed to the city where it's managed by the citizens. In short; residents fund and pay for all improvements needed.

But anyone who has heard of this project starting in Arizona’s west valley might be asking the same thing everyone else asks- what about the water?

Well, apparently Telosa solves this problem with elevated water storage that recycled and is distributed equally among the entire city. This will further help to supply water to the many aeroponic farms, lakes, rivers, and swimming pools that will be located everywhere within Telosa.

But that’s not the only concern to the challenges that Telosa may face, since citizens will fund repairs, improvements, and the basic infrastructure of the city itself. Since the citizens will essentially own the city, they will be paid partly in company stock and vote on all city issues from a mobile app. A citizen will also have the right to build their own home and sell it but the land it sits on is considered property of the community.

Hmmm….

All work is done within the city without ever needing to leave making the city sustainable on its own. There will be free self-driving car ride shares, all-electric aerial transport drones, and solar panel roofs to generate all the electricity. Proponents of this concept have already deemed this city concept to be the closest thing to dystopian nightmare fuel it could possibly get.

Where will Telosa be built?

Telosa on map

Among the top 3 candidates that are currently being looked at, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona are the most recent names that are often mentioned. The reasoning is very simple since the land must be empty desert space that is owned by the US Government. According to experts at the Arizona Technology Council, they have concluded that the most likely location in AZ would be in the west valley near Buckeye.

It’s also a stretch because most of the private land that’s west of Buckeye would surely include Tonopah and Harquahala Valley. Plus, this region is nowhere near any reliable source of water aside from what is currently available from the Gila River. Yet, as there is no concrete news so far on which state will be chosen, Marc Lore is busy selling the idea via online conversations through the City of Telosa’s Twitter page.

And though this is generating some interest for those who are interested in webinars that are voicing diversity and inclusivity benefits for the future of Telosa, most people aren't buying this snake oil. For real development, check out the new chip plant in North Phoenix. As the past history that Marc Lore is best known for, he might be selling the most expensive Monorail City sales pitch ever sold just to sell it later at a much higher profit margin.

We'll keep you posted on what happens next with Telosa's latest news.

FAQs

What is the Telosa Project?

This is a self-sustaining city of the future that is planned to be built in one of three proposed desert regions that include areas within Arizona, Utah, or Nevada. There is one specific point that is required including that it must be built on Government-owned land. Residents will all be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance after construction is completed.

What are the goals of the Telosa Project?

The most important goal of Telosa is to become a 15-minute city where residents will be no further than 15 minutes from any shopping venue, job location, or recreational area. Vehicles will all be electric and self-driven, and power sources will include renewable green energy. The main focus is on a population driven by diversity, equity, inclusion, and self-rule- where all voting would occur on smartphone devices.  

Who is behind the Telosa Project?

Marc Lore is the mastermind behind the Telosa Project and has made a successful career by creating businesses including Diapers.com, ThePitt.com, Jet.com, and Mojo.com to name a few. His newest brainchild project is Telosa which includes a whole team of architecture experts that have proposed a new type of city that is all based on sustainability that is not supported by anything outside the city itself.

How much will it cost to build Telosa?

The initial budget that Telosa will cost is estimated at around $400 billion and includes the cost of buying desert property, building housing, and residences that will house at least 50,000 inhabitants. After this, available property within Telosa will be up to new residents to build their own houses. The cost to residents will be equally distributed as part of the 'Equitism' who will be responsible for all upgrades and new constructions and repairs to the city after that.

Where exactly will Telosa be located?

There have been many locations mentioned in the last two years, but ideally the southwestern US states are optimal since the land is cheaper in this region. More recently, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada are potential locations where Government-owned desert land is plentiful. Many experts have suggested that Arizona is the most-likely location since it has recently become a hotbed for newly proposed large-scale community projects.

How long will it take to build Telosa?

So far Marc Lore has mentioned that he hopes to have Telosa up and running as early as 2030 with a base population of 50,000 filling the city by 2050. Initial investments haven’t been revealed, however, Marc Lore has a knack for raising money on his current business projects in very little time. His online sporting and wager project- Mojo.com is one such business venture that gained over $100 million in only 2 years, so perhaps Telosa is still gathering investors.

What will daily life be like in Telosa?

According to Marc Lore, he is basing this new city as a new form of Democracy that is based on an idea by Henry George. This is a city that is tax-free and is heavily borrowing from communal/utopian living concepts. The idea is that equity, inclusion, and sharing wealth will allow each resident to prosper. Daily life is intended to be as stress-free as possible with many green spaces, renewable energies, and automated conveniences.

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