Verizon has announced plans to build a tech-focused urban hub inside Irving, Texas. Dubbed Hidden Ridge, the tech utopia is planned to manifest as a 110-acre sprawl encompassing various use cases, all built with technological integration in mind. The miniature city will feature Pioneer Natural Resources’ headquarters, a 1.2 million square foot installation, as an anchor of sorts. From there, another 1.5 million square feet of the installation will be zoned for corporate interests to take up residence, and there will be 1,200 residential units in the initial plan, along with a 200 room hotel. 80,000 square feet is earmarked for restaurants and shops, along with 2 acres of public space for greenery and amenities. To top it all off, there’s a DART rail station to take people in and out. The installation is essentially meant to be a self-contained district, missing little more than a school, a city office, and a hospital to qualify as its own city. Naturally, the spot where the whole thing is set to be erected is right next to a 4,000-employee Verizon campus.
The planned tech utopia is not just a perfect place for corporations to set up shop and attract workers who would be able to commute on foot; the planned setup is also ripe for a 5G deployment, and citywide IoT installations of various sorts. Verizon and its contractors will essentially be crafting a lifestyle for the residents by choosing what to build and where, as well as what corporate tenants get to take up residence. Therein, Verizon has a heavy measure of control over what tenants of the installation eat, use, and wear, where they go for entertainment, and where they work. A corporate community of this sort has never been seen before.
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The planned mini-city sounds quite similar to what Sidewalk Labs has been working on for a while, though Sidewalk Labs’ project is a bit grander in scale. In Hidden Ridge, the plan is to still have municipal matters like taxes and water handled by the city of Irving, Texas and Dallas County. What’s being proposed here is not a miniature city unto itself that hooks into a larger city’s resources and services, but rather a community with almost all of the amenities and marks of a typical city, focused on corporate culture and opportunities for high-tech integration.