In a series of purchases, one company has quietly been buying up extensive land around Travis Air Force Base since 2018, amassing nearly $1 billion worth of property. But the identity of the buyer, known as Flannery Associates, remains shrouded in mystery, raising concerns for government officials about national security.
The investment group Flannery Associates has become the largest landowner in Solano County, securing a staggering 52,000 acres of land surrounding the base, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation published this month. Travis Air Force Base serves as a major cargo and troop transport hub on the West Coast, and is the largest employer in Solano County. Reportedly, Flannery Associates' strategic land grabs mean that they own many properties aside the base, and even more into the marshy regions near the Sacramento River in Rio Vista, far from Fairfield's urban center.
But little is known about the company. As SFGATE reported, public records reveal that the company is registered in Delaware, allowing it to withhold information about its business partners — an approach often employed by LLCs.
The local congressman, John Garamendi, who represents California's 8th District, told ABC7 that there’s “reason to be concerned.”
"Literally three sides of that base are totally controlled by the Flannery group," Garamendi said in an interview.
According to ABC7 and WSJ, the lawyer representing the company described the firm as a group of almost all American families who are trying to diversify their investments into agricultural land. But Garamendi is reportedly not sure if that’s true, and questioned the company's intentions and financial backing.
"Who are these people?" he added. "Where did they get the money where they could pay five to ten times the normal value that others would pay for this farmland?"
Garamendi also reportedly said that Flannery is suing nearby landowners, accusing them of scheming to prevent the company from buying their land.
The government and military are continuing to actively investigate, according to the WSJ.