Billionaire businessman Elon Musk wants to build ‘utopian’ towns around some of his engineering plants to help lure high-quality employees. Some central Texas residents are expressing hesitation, though, as these types of ‘affordable housing’ communities (like mining towns of past generations) never seemingly work out as planned.
Musk wants to build his own town in Bastrop County near two of his facilities, SpaceX and the Boring Company. The Wall Street Journal reported the news earlier this month, referencing land records and people familiar with the plan. Musk reportedly envisions the future town, called Snailbrook, as a Texas utopia where his staff can happily live and work and save money.
Some locals, of course, don’t like the idea of affordable housing coming to town.
“Utopia sounds very scary,” one Bastrop resident, Michelle, said. “If you … read the books, the utopia is not usually at all what it’s presented to be.”
A flag spotted Tuesday at the site, which will include modular homes and recreational spaces, read “welcome, snailbrook, tx, est. 2021.” The Boring Company is opening a production facility directly adjacent to the town, but Snailbrook will also reportedly house Tesla employees from nearby Austin, too.
“I hope that the people who live in those houses and in that community do not get stuck in the trap of the things that you saw in those types of planned communities for business,” resident Tasha told Fox News. “Basically, they become your indentured servants because they have no way to have the mobility out of it.”
Other residents think Musk building a ‘utopia’ makes no sense when the land of central Texas is already so pristine.
“Here he is saying that there’s gonna be a utopia down the street,” local farmer Erin told Fox News. “Well, there already is one.”
One of the things that Elon Musk is building in Texas is underground Hyperloop technology
The Boring Company says it will begin testing a full-scale Hyperloop transportation system later this year. The Boring Company hopes that the autonomous electric pods they’re building can transport passengers at more than 600 miles per hour. The company predicts passengers can travel from Washington, D.C., to New York in less than 30 minutes and D.C. to Baltimore in less than 8 minutes.
“The capsules are accelerated via a magnetic linear accelerator. They’re affixed at various stations on the low pressure tube. Rotors are contained in each capsule,” Musk wrote in a 2013 white paper.
“From a known physics standpoint, this is the fastest possible way of getting from one city center to another for distances less than ~2000 miles,” Musk tweeted on Sunday. “Starship is faster for longer journeys.”
Founded in 2016, The Boring Company’s mission is to solve traffic issues in metropolitan environments. It wants to transform cities by creating safe, fast-to-dig, low-cost transportation, utility, and freight tunnels. The company is currently valued at nearly $6 billion.