- What do you get for the billionaire who has everything? Perhaps his own town.
NEW YORK: Entities connected to Elon Musk and his companies have reportedly been acquiring thousands of acres of land in Texas with the hope of starting a town where his employees could live and work, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal Thursday.
These entities have purchased at least 3,500 acres near Austin and are in the process of working toward incorporating a town called Snailbrook, an apparent reference to the mascot of Musk’s tunneling firm, the Boring Company, according to the Journal.
The report cites county deeds and other land records, as well as city and county emails, internal company communications, state licensing records and interviews with land owners and city and county officials. (CNN has not reviewed all of the land and other records cited in the Journal report.)
Over the years, tech companies have offered numerous amenities on campus to recruit workers and sometimes incentivize them to put in longer hours. By building out a company town of his own, Musk could take that approach even further.
According to the report, Musk wants employees at his companies Boring Co., Tesla and SpaceX — all of which have major production facilities near Austin — “to be able to live in new homes with below-market rents.” The Snailbrook effort also reportedly includes plans to build more than 100 homes, as well as neighborhood features such as a pool and outdoor sports area.
Incorporating a town might also give Musk, who has been known to clash with state and federal regulators, more say over how things are run.
Musk in 2020 announced he would move Tesla’s headquarters and his personal residence from California to Texas, blaming frustrations with California’s coronavirus-related restrictions. Last year, Tesla opened a new Gigafactory manufacturing facility in Austin. Musk’s SpaceX and Boring Co. also have facilities in Texas, and Boring Co. has reportedly been in talks with Austin about the possibility of building tunnels in the city, according to a February report from the Austin American Statesman.
Property records for Bastrop County, which is adjacent to Austin, show that the Boring Co. owns 11 parcels of land on one address near the Colorado River where mobile homes were built over the past three years, according to records reviewed by CNN. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is set to hold a meeting on plans for a wastewater treatment plant on the same site, which were submitted by an LLC registered to a Boring Co. executive, according to a public announcement of the meeting.
That same entity also owns a number of parcels of nearby property comprising commercial and residential building plots and pasture and farming land, public records show. The Journal reported that Musk’s team has discussed incorporating the town in Bastrop County. The county told the Journal that it had not received an application for incorporation, which requires a certain number of residents, from Musk or any of his entities.
Tesla, SpaceX and Boring Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
- News Agencies / CNN