Elon Musk's next big move: Building a company town, apparently. The Wall Street Journal reports that Musk or related entities have bought up to 6,000 acres of farmland outside the Texas capital of Austin. The goal has a Musk-like sound to it:
- "In meetings with landowners and real-estate agents, Mr. Musk and employees of his companies have described his vision as a sort of Texas utopia along the Colorado River, where his employees could live and work."
The idea is that employees of Musk's Boring, Tesla, and SpaceX companies would live there, in close proximity to their jobs and at reduced rents. One apparent stipulation is that they would have to get out in 30 days if fired or laid off. Musk execs already have explored the possibility of incorporating a town in Bastrop County that would likely be named Snailbrook, after the Boring company's mascot, per the Journal. Such a move would give Musk sway over regulations and speed up the process. The story also has a celebrity twist, noting that Musk, former girlfriend Grimes, Kanye West, and West's architectural designer have had multiple discussions in the past year about what the town might look like. Musk himself reportedly might build a private compound near the town.
A criticism: The story is already generating pushback. At Gizmodo, Nikki Main notes that company towns have a long tradition in the US. "The idea, in essence, sounds good—work for an employer and you get to live in the town with access to all the amenities for a discounted price. But what happens when things go south?" Musk has established a volatile reputation as a CEO. "Do we really want him running his own town?" (Read more Elon Musk stories.)