Why are technology entrepreneurs trying to build the “city of yesterday” in California?
They're certainly doing their darndest to convince current Solano county residents that California Forever has their best interests in mind, but ultimately, as you mention, this is a business that needs to recoup their $800M.
Looking into Culdesac, their rental prices are only affordable to the urban elite, comparable to any major tech hub. Given the location, I imagine California Forever has their sights set on attracting tech workers from the Bay area who are fed up with the increasing grittiness of SF and Oakland, who can't afford to live in the already competitively priced suburbs, and who don't want to leave the comfort of Northern California nor the like-mindedness of the Bay.
I can see some appeal as an SF transplant with shallow roots in the city, but the idea of a commercially manufactured community culture is off-putting. It gives Pleasantville vibes.
For Solano co. residents, maybe a tax boon and infrastructure development do provide the jobs and quality of life improvement the company claims, but anecdotally, stories of new development tend to benefit all but the existing locals. Sounds like gentrification in the making, with more marketing and PR behind it. At least they'll have a single entity to blame, rather than ambiguous systemic problems.