Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, is said to be working on a new company town named Snailbrook, which will offer housing for employees of his companies including Tesla, Boring, and SpaceX. Located around 35 miles away from Austin, Texas, the proposed town will include 110 residences adjacent to Boring and SpaceX facilities in Bastrop County. The rental prices for these houses are expected to start at around $800 per month for a two or three-bedroom house.
According to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the proposed town could become a double-edged sword for the employees, as they would become more reliant on Musk. Apart from being paid by his companies, they would also be paying rent to him. Additionally, if they were to leave the companies or were fired, they would be required to vacate the property within 30 days.
The proposed town is also expected to be home to employees of Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory, which is a half-hour drive from the town of Bastrop. The plan includes converting a residence into a Montessori school that can accommodate up to 15 pupils. Furthermore, the proposal includes the potential for incorporation, which would allow Musk to establish particular rules for the community, which would necessitate holding a mayoral election.
According to records, Musk and people connected to him have purchased over 3,500 acres of land in the Austin area over the past few years. The report by WSJ states that Musk, his architectural designer, former partner Grimes, and Kanye West held talks multiple times last year to brainstorm ideas for the proposed town, but nothing conclusive emerged from those talks.
While Musk’s vision for Snailbrook is exciting, nearby residents have expressed concerns about the potential environmental impact of the initiatives. The Journal highlights that Boring has applied for permission to discharge up to 140,000 gallons of industrial wastewater into the Colorado River every day. The testing of Boring’s tunneling equipment is also raising concerns about the impact it may have on groundwater and wells.
Elon Musk’s vision for Snailbrook has created excitement and concerns in equal measure. While the idea of a company town with affordable housing for employees is promising, the potential reliance on Musk and the environmental impact of the initiatives are also causing concerns. As more details about the project become available, it remains to be seen how it will pan out and whether it will be successful in achieving its goals.