Elon Musk Buys Thousands Of Acres To Build A Modern-Day Company Town Near Austin
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is planning to build his own town in Bastrop County where his companies’ employees can live and work.
Musk has bought at least 3,500 acres in the Austin area and has discussed with landowners, real estate agents and his companies’ executives the idea of building a "Texas utopia," The Wall Street Journal reported, citing land records and people familiar with the matter.
Executives at The Boring Co., an infrastructure and tunnel construction company founded in 2016, have discussed and researched incorporating the town, which is about 25 miles east of Austin, according to the report. That would make it a state-recognized municipality requiring an elected local government, including a mayor.
Texas law requires a town to have at least 201 residents before it can incorporate, which would have to be approved by a county judge. Bastrop County hasn't yet received an application, the WSJ reported.
The would-be town, dubbed Snailbrook, already features modular homes, a pool, an outdoor sports area and a gym on the land, which is adjacent to Boring and SpaceX facilities that are under construction and not far from Tesla global headquarters.
Snailbrook is a reference to Boring’s mascot, which came from Musk challenging employees to build boring machines that move “faster than a snail,” the WSJ reported.
Conversations between Musk, Kanye West, West’s architectural designer and Grimes, who has two children with Musk, have been ongoing since last year, people familiar with the discussions told the WSJ. Documents filed with Bastrop County Commissioners Court in January show plans for 110 more homes, per the WSJ.
Signs hanging from poles reading “welcome, snailbrook, tx, est. 2021” indicate some established the site as home months ago.
The tweeter of the sign picture is Chap Ambrose, a Bastrop resident who has spoken out against the development, citing environmental concerns, including the discharge of treated wastewater into the Colorado River near his home. Ambrose has started a campaign to “Keep Bastrop Boring.”
“Two years ago, Elon Musk and his companies began buying cow pastures and transforming this area into an industrial complex,” Ambrose said.
He is encouraging viewers of his YouTube video panning the project to attend a public meeting later this month with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regarding a wastewater permit requested by The Boring Co.
Musk is an Austin-area resident after making the move in 2020, saying he had become frustrated with California’s taxes and regulations.
Though he recently announced that Tesla’s engineering headquarters is moving back to Palo Alto, California, Tesla's corporate headquarters remaining in Austin and other Lone Star State moves indicate he plans to maintain a large Texas presence.