5 reasons why Elon Musk and Grimes should choose Austin over Tulsa for the new Tesla factory—and HQ
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Tesla's proposed deal to bring a new "Gigafactory" to Austin was quickly followed by rumors that the company might move its headquarters here too—and along with it, CEO Elon Musk and his family. But the agreements haven't been signed, and as far as anyone knows, Tulsa is still on the table.
Tesla looks to fast-track approval of an Austin 'Gigafactory' (Video by Ethan Hunt) www.youtube.com
Musk is in a relationship and has a son with musician Grimes. So, where does it make the most sense for Musk to bring his family and company? Austin. Here's why.
1. The live music capital of the world
(Choose_Freewill via Flickr)
Happy wife, happy life, right? What better place for Grimes to move than Austin, with its musical flare.
She would live among countless other musicians in Austin. Also for her convenience, there are 204 recording studios in the Austin area, with endless opportunity to perform live, including at festivals like Austin City Limits, where she has previously performed.
2. Friendly neighborhoods for raising children
@flcnhvy @TeslaGong @PPathole @priscillabanana https://t.co/lm30U60OtO— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk) 1588660456.0
With Grimes giving birth to son X AE A-XII last month, Austin would be a great family-friendly place for him to grow up. It has an array of highly-ranked primary and secondary education options.
Last year, millennials ranked Austin at the top of the list for friendliest, cleanest city in the U.S. in a survey conducted by Langston Co. Austin is known as a progressive city that embraces a "weird" culture—perfect for the child of eccentric parents.
3. Highly educated population
Between 27 colleges and universities, Austin offers a highly educated labor pool for Tesla, and a great set of potential friends for the family. The need for engineering and technical workers would be easy to find in a city with nearly 45% of residents over age 25 having bachelors degrees.
Also, in-state tuition for X AE A-XII—not that they need the discount.
4. Personality of the city
A source told Austonia that Texas' "entrepreneurial, pioneering personality" matches that of Elon Musk. This couldn't be more true. Tesla could fit right in with the innovative culture of Austin.
Companies like Optimizely, Indeed and Bumble are just a few that have flourished in the city.
5. Live among other celebs
(UT College of Communication via Creative Commons)
There are no shortage of celebrities in California, of course, but Musk and his family would have good company as a few of Austin's local stars. It's a spot for celebs to get a smaller-town feel, but still live in a big city.
Celebrities living in Austin include Matthew McConaughey, Elijah Wood and Jenson Ackles.
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Officials are asking certain residents in Bastrop State Park to evacuate as crews work to put out a “very active fire” that is currently 0% contained.
The Texas A&M Forest Service has responded to help local fire departments with the Rolling Pines Fire at 100 Park Road 1A, which is consuming 300 acres. Residents of Pine Hill Drive, Pine Tree Loop, Linda Lane and Lisa Lane are being asked to evacuate.
Today’s Bastrop Rolling Pines Fire is burning along Power Plant Road towards Lake Bastrop South Shore. pic.twitter.com/YCvJkIAg1u
— BastropCntyTexas OEM (@BastropCntyOEM) January 18, 2022
Aviation resources have been called to assist.
According to the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management, the wildfire sparked during a prescribed burn that took place today, despite wildfire warnings. Park Road 1C from Harmon Road to Park Road 1A had been closed for the prescribed burn.
The blaze is in the same location as the Bastrop Complex Fire of 2011, which burned for 55 days, killing two people, destroying 34,000 acres and around 1,700 homes and buildings. The fire, which started in 2011, became the most destructive wildfire in Texas at the time.
A hotbed for fires, the Hidden Pines Fire started at the same location in 2015, destroying 4,600 acres and 64 structures.
Some road closures have been put in place at State Highway 21 South Shore Lake Bastrop and East State Highway 21.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.
After months of record-setting periods for Austin real estate, the Austin Board of Realtors announced Tuesday that the metro's housing market accounted for over $23 billion of economic activity in 2021, making it the biggest year yet for both home sales and median home prices in the metro.
The Austin-Round Rock MSA saw 41,316 homes sold in 2021, 2.5% more than a record-setting 2020. Median home prices skyrocketed as well, rising 30.8% from 2020 to $450,000. The housing market also saw unprecedented impact on Austin's economy, with sales dollar volume jumping to over $23.38 billion, and more homes hit the market in 2021 than any previous year, increasing by 5.9% to 46,449 total homes listed.
(Austin Board of Realtors)
As many recent Austin homebuyers have experienced firsthand, Austin Board of Realtors 2022 President Cord Shiflet said 2021 was the most "exciting, complicated, fast-paced and record-setting housing market" in Austin's history.
Shiflet dubbed the market as "complicated" for a reason—Austin became a case study on supply and demand in 2021, with demand far outpacing the number of active listings, which dropped by 48.2% to 2,348 homes in 2021.
The metro ended the year with 0.6 months of inventory, a far cry from a "healthy" six-month supply, and houses were snatched at breakneck speeds, spending 25 fewer days on the market when compared to 2020. The average home was on the market for 20 days.
But low inventory is more due to high demand than a stagnant homebuilding market, Mark Sprague, Independence Title's state director of information capital, said in the report.
“In 2021, the record number of homes sold were demand-driven transactions and that demand was influenced greatly by companies continuing to target the region for job creation and expansion," Sprague said. "Even though more homes are being built, listed and sold than ever before, our region is still nowhere close to having a comfortable amount of supply to meet the demand, which is why home prices continue to rise steadily.”
Over 23,000 jobs have been promised by companies across the metro as of December 2021, breaking the 2020 record, according to Opportunity Austin, the economic development arm of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. With an influx of major factories and offices, including Tesla's Giga Texas, Samsung's Taylor plant and a planned 33-floor Facebook office, Sprague said the region's booming market paired with a struggling inventory and supply chain issues could be a double-edged sword in 2022.
"In short, 2022 will see a robust market for home sales and property values, but the region must do more to address inventory, ” Sprague said.
Shiflet recommended that potential homebuyers make a decision ahead of predicted increases in interest rates and home prices and said that he hopes local politicians will continue to prioritize affordable housing in the election year.
Still, Shiflet said a record-breaking housing market reflects Austin's growing reputation as a hub for talent, tech jobs and a good quality of life.
"With all the new jobs across the region from exciting companies like Tesla and Samsung, Austin was put on the world’s stage and captured the hearts and attention of so many," Shiflet said. "We are lucky to call Austin our home when it has so much to offer from a great quality of life to a wonderful destination for innovation and opportunity.”
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