Michael S. Smith isn’t the only billionair­e making a bold, privately funded infrastruc­ture play. Colombian banking mogul Jaime Gilinski Bacal and his partners have pumped more than $1 billion into turning a former U.S. Air Force base near the Panama Canal into a massive business-friendly city, which Forbes took in via chopper for our April 19, 2016, issue.

“Scanning the 4,450-acre expanse, Gilinski points out a university campus, hundreds of new homes, a basketball court, schools, parks and even an airport. Constructi­on sites are everywhere: Here will be an amphitheat­er, there a golf course, here a shopping mall, there a hospital. It is the world’s most audacious real estate project, which started as nothing more than the harebraine­d idea of the man in the helicopter.”

Five years later, constructi­on continues at Panama Pacifico, where 1,300 of a planned 30,000 homes have been built and companies including 3M, Dell and FedEx have already set up operations.

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