The tycoon is currently building his own city called Snailbrook, which will house hundreds of Texan employees of his companies.
A few kilometers from Austin, the capital of Texas, Elon Musk purchased several hundred hectares of land. And we are not talking about installing a launch pad there for its future rockets or a new Gigafactory for Tesla; According to the Wall Street Journal, the contractor intended to build an entirely new city, and the first buildings are already being erected out of the ground.
These lands were purchased by the branches within the last three years. Based on documents collected by the WSJ, the area of the district is estimated at approximately 1,400 hectares. For comparison, this roughly corresponds to the area of the city of Nancy (15 km²). Based on the words of several of Musk’s relatives, US media even suggest that the total area could be as high as 6,000 acres (24 km², or roughly the size of the city of Mulhouse).
Musk’s critics will no doubt see this as yet another manifestation of his exorbitant ego. But the question is not to create a municipality for the mere pleasure of being appointed mayor; The purpose of this area, named Snailbrook – a tribute to the mascot of The Boring Company – is primarily logistical.
Sleeping area for employees of SpaceX and The Boring Company.
Indeed, Musk intended it to be something of a dormitory town that would house a veritable army of employees. This will allow them to get housing at a reasonable price … and, above all, close to offices. It is important to know that the leader has never made a secret of his dislike for the concept of remote work.
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This applies, in particular, to SpaceX, which is firmly established in the land of cowboys. Upstate, halfway between Dallas and Austin, the firm has set up its development center. And further south, very close to the Mexican border, is the famous Starbase, a huge industrial site used for servicing and launching rockets. In total, more than 1,600 employees work at SpaceX sites in Texas (data for 2022).
In the same region are the premises of The Boring Company. This is another company founded by Musk that aims to revolutionize transportation using the vast networks of tunnels famous for Hyperloops. Unless the firm achieves the same commercial success as SpaceX and Tesla, it still employs several hundred people.
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Under plans obtained by the WSJ, new Snailbrook residents will be able to live in two- and three-bedroom homes with many amenities, including communal pools and gyms. Everything will be rented for about $800 per month. A very interesting price, because it is almost three times lower than the median prices of the Texas market.
Sounds like a great opportunity for employees… but beware of nasty surprises. Because living in an area ruled entirely by Musk can have its downsides, too.
One of many examples: the person concerned has already repeatedly proved that he does not hesitate to fire certain employees overnight for reasons that are not always clear. Therefore, we can imagine that some will not necessarily feel safe signing a real estate contract in the area reserved for the magnate’s employees. It’s one thing to have an unpredictable and vindictive boss, it’s another thing to have him as a master…
Therefore, it will be interesting to follow the development of this project. Will employees like it? Will the SpaceX army be able to get along without friction with the local population and farmers, already worried about the consequences of their activities? And over time, will Snailbrook remain a bedroom town, or will it grow into a big city on its own? Answer in a few years.