Wall Street Journal: Elon Musk plans to build his own city

New York (CNN) What do you get for the billionaire who has everything? Maybe his own city.

Entities associated with Elon Musk and his companies have reportedly acquired thousands of acres of land in Texas in hopes of starting a city where his employees can 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 working to include a town called Snailbrook, an obvious reference to the mascot of Musk’s tunneling company, 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 permits, and interviews with landowners and city and county officials. (CNN did not review all of the country and other data cited in the Journal report.)

Over the years, technology companies have offered numerous on-campus amenities to recruit employees and sometimes encourage them to work more hours. By building his own corporate city, Musk could take that approach even further.

According to the report, Musk wants employees of his companies Boring Co., Tesla and SpaceX – all of which have large manufacturing 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 swimming pool and outdoor sports area.

Including a city could also give Musk, who has been known to clash with state and federal regulators, more of a say in how things are run.

Musk announced in 2020 that he would be moving Tesla headquarters and his personal residence from California to Texas, blaming frustrations over 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. is reportedly 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 borders Austin, show that the Boring Co. Owns 11 lots at one address near the Colorado River where mobile homes have been built over the past three years, according to data reviewed by CNN. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold a meeting on plans for a wastewater treatment plant on the same site, which have been filed by an LLC registered with a Boring Co. executive, according to a public announcement from the meeting.

That same entity also owns a number of parcels of nearby real estate, consisting of commercial and residential building lots and pasture and agricultural land, public records show. The Journal reported that Musk’s team has discussed incorporating the city into Bastrop County. The county told the Journal it had not received an application for incorporation, which requires a certain number of residents, from Musk or any of its entities.

Tesla, SpaceX and Boring Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.






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