In recent years, Elon Musk has been quietly buying up a small Texas neighborhood so that he could build his own little village near his Tesla, SpaceX and Boring companies, The Post can confirm.
Located in Bastrop, outside of Austin city limits, Musk has spent millions purchasing land in the quaint town in hopes he can avoid big-city regulations, the Wall Street Journal first reported.
Situated next to the Colorado River, his vision is to create his own utopia where his employees can live and work.
But while locals are happy at the new opportunity that fell at their doorstep, they remain weary of what this will mean for the charming small town they’ve called home for most of their lives.
Anna O’Neil grew up in the town, riding horses along with her sister, Molly. Her parents, Michael and Linda Waxman were among the ones that recently sold their longtime estate to Musk, which comprised more than 100 acres of the thousands he’s acquired.
Her sister still lives on a portion that Musk also bought, but she’s not required to leave until 2024.
O’Neil said the town was at first shocked to learn that Musk had chosen their little slice of paradise as the site for his factories and companies. But over the years, they didn’t realize this would also mean giving up their own property.
“My parents were really close with all the neighbors down the street. So if one person sold out in the community, you kind of all have to,” O’Neil, 30, told The Post, adding that her grandfather had raised greyhounds on the farm for years.
“The land belonged to my grandparents and then my mom inherited it,” she said. “They are working to get my parents off of that property at the end of the month, so they can start working on it. So nothing’s been done yet. We’re still trying to get off of the property.”
“There’s definitely a lot of history. There’s a lot of memories out there of him like training dogs. He built up this whole farming community there,” O’Neil said of her grandfather. “So I think it’s a little sad because we’re going through kind of his things and picking and choosing — to get off the property.”
O’Neil admitted that when Musk’s team approached her family to buy the land, they were told it would be used for workers’ housing, not a town.
Musk called the Journal report that he is building a town “false” on Friday.
While photos obtained by The Post show the land is still in the early days of the construction process, it already has a few modular homes, an outdoor sports arena, a pool and a gym.
In Texas, for a town to be labeled incorporated, it would need at least 201 residents. The Bostrop County Commissioner’s office has yet to receive a submission from Musk in that regard.
Entities tied to Musk’s companies or executives have purchased at least 3,500 acres in the Austin area, the Journal reported. This equates to four times the size of New York’s Central Park. There was talk he even owned upward of 6,500 acres of land in the Lone Star State.
“It was a shock when we found it was going to be an actual town,” she said. “I learned that from an Instagram post. I didn’t know that this would be the possibility. I heard he wants to even hire a mayor.”
Musk initially fled California for Texas to avoid insurmountable regulations. He even referred to the Golden State as a place of “overregulation, overlitigation, overtaxation,” he said in December 2021.
Meanwhile, Texas has fewer zoning laws and loosely regulated land. Unlike California, it has no corporate income tax or capital-gains taxes.
Floor plans filed in the Bastrop County Commissioners Court in January show the vision of Snailbrook village, in reference to Musk’s Boring’s company mascot.
The map, obtained by The Post, shows Snailbrook would have 110 residences on what will be Boring Boulevard, WaterJet Way, Porpoise Place and Cutterhead Crossing.
“My dad’s perspective, it’s nice to just kind turn over a new leaf,” O’Neil said. “My parents are buying different property with the money and reinvesting it. So … that’s been fun.”
Her parents still own their 4,500-square-foot home in Bastrop. And the town still remains fairly small.
O’Neil’s parents were from big cities — her mom, Linda, is from Austin, and her dad, Michael, is from New York. The two were in the film business and lived in Los Angeles for several years before coming to Texas to inherit the farm.
O’Neil explains when she was younger, there was only a Walmart and a stoplight. She quips that now they added a Chick-fil-A.
In Bastrop, Musk’s SpaceX is building a 500,000-square-foot facility, and, across state road 1209, Boring — Musk’s infrastructure and tunnel construction company — is building a new warehouse.
“There was a little bit of pause on what this would mean for our community,” O’Neil added. “We’re still a small town at heart here. It was a big change. I think there’s still a little bit of fear, or not fear, but anticipation — seeing what’s to come, because things are changing so fast.”
“And of course he builds so quickly. I mean, the Tesla factory went up what feels like overnight for how large scale it was.”
In the end, O’Neil said the process is bittersweet.
“There’s a little bit of nerves, but also kind of relief,” O’Neil said. “My parents now have the money to buy other property that’s a little bit further outside of the city limit to continue kind of living a smaller farm life.”
The Post has reached out to Musk and the Bastrop County Commissioners Court for comment.
Meanwhile, the idea of living in an unregulated, private town or city has risen in popularity in recent years.
Praxis is one of the newer projects funded partially by Peter Thiel. The goal is to build a city outside of the United States and free of government control.