Elon Musk has been quietly purchasing properties in a small Texas neighborhood within the past few years with the ultimate goal of building his own village where his employees can live and work from.
Throughout the past few years, Elon Musk has been buying properties in a small Texas neighborhood as a means of creating his own village near his Tesla, SpaceX, and Boring companies so employees can all live and work out of one town hub.
The town is located in Bastrop, right outside of Austin city limits. Musk has been quietly spending millions of dollars to acquire as much of the town as possible in hopes that he can avoid big-city metropolitan regulations for his employees and companies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Many locals were hopeful that this new venture from Musk could provide the area with new jobs and opportunities, however, others are skeptical as to what he will actually do once he’s able to purchase the entire village. Anna O’Neil, for example, is a local who recently spoke to the New York Post regarding the billionaire’s recent venture. She explained that at first, locals didn’t realize Musk’s plans would involve giving up their own properties, which many have owned within their families for decades.
“They are working to get my parents off of that property at the end of the month, so they can start working on it. There’s definitely a lot of history. There’s a lot of memories out there of my grandfather training dogs. He built up this whole farming community there, so I think it’s a little sad because we’re going through kind of his things and picking and choosing — to get off the property.”
“My parents were really close with all the neighbors down the street. So if one person sold out in the community, you kind of all have to. The land belonged to my grandparents and then my mom inherited it,” O’Neil, told The Post.
O’Neil also stated that when Musk’s team initially approached her family, they said the properties would be used for workers’ housing, not a town. Initial photos of the land show that Musk is still in the early stages of construction and development, but it already has a few modular homes as well as an outdoor sports arena, pool, and gym.
In the state of Texas, in order for a town to be labeled incorporated, it would need at least 201 residents. According to Greg Gilleland, the First Assistant District Attorney of Bastrop County, the Bostrop County Commissioner’s office has not received any official submission from Musk for his plans.
“We had no responsible documents regarding this ‘new town.’ No one here, including the County Judge, County Engineer, or Commissioner for that precinct have any documents regarding this.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that entities tied to Musk’s companies and executives have purchased at least 3,500 acres in the Austin area; four times the size of Central Park in NYC. Reports state that Musk initially left California to purchase property in Texas as a means of avoiding regulations, referring to California as a “place of overregulation, overlitigation, and overtaxation.”
Texas has fewer zoning laws and doesn’t regulate its land as strictly as California. Floor plans that were filed in the Bastrop County Commissioners Court back in January show the plans for Snailbrook Village; the name referencing Musk’s Boring Company mascot. The map from the initial submission shows Snailbrook would have 110 residents on streets that would be called Boring Boulevard, WaterJet Way, Porpoise Place, and Cutterhead Crossing.
In Bastrop currently, Musk’s SpaceX is building a 500,000-square-foot facility and across the road, Musk’s Boring company is also building a new warehouse.
“There was a little bit of pause on what this would mean for our community, we’re still a small town at heart here. It was a big change. I think there’s still a little bit of fear, or not fear, but anticipation — seeing what’s to come, because things are changing so fast,” O’Neil stated.
“And of course he builds so quickly. I mean, the Tesla factory went up what feels like overnight for how large it was. There’s a little bit of nerves, but also kind of relief. My parents now have the money to buy other property that’s a little bit further outside of the city limit to continue living a smaller farm life,” O’Neil said.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.