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Austin area man offers Elon Musk free land to move Twitter's headquarters to his cattle ranch

(Jim Schwertner)

After Twitter accepted Elon Musk’s deal to buy the social platform for $44 billion, Jim Schwertner made his own offer to Musk: 100 acres in Schwertner, Texas at no cost.

As President and CEO of Schwertner Farms, he oversees farming and ranching on 20,000 acres of land just north of Georgetown, in Williamson and Bell County. He told Austonia he thinks Musk is the best thing to ever happen to Texas. He added that a business like Twitter would add a lot of jobs and boost the economy, so giving the land, which is about 75 football fields, to Musk would be a “win-win for everybody.”

“We think it’s a good idea, especially when you’ve got Samsung coming to Taylor,” Schwertner said. “I mean, this area is exploding and we want to be part of this explosive growth.”

Austin's tech boom has reached just outside city limits with Austin suburbs offering handsome incentives to attract companies. Just recently, data centers have been announced from Meta and Sabey in Temple and Round Rock.

But when it comes to the social media giants in Central Texas, offices like those of Meta and TikTok have been selected in downtown Austin, about a 50-minute drive from Schwertner.

Twitter currently has its headquarters on Market Street, a major thoroughfare in San Francisco near lots of food and entertainment. And while the company reopened in March, CEO Parag Agrawal told employees they're welcome to work from wherever they'd like, whether it's in the office every day, at home or hybrid.

Schwertner, Texas

Schwertner, who lives in Austin, has watched Musk’s moves with Tesla, SpaceX and the Boring Company locally.

“I just think with all the stuff he's done, he evidently likes Texas, right or he wouldn’t have moved from California,” Schwertner said. “And I want to be part of his plan if he'll come visit with us.”

If the offers from Schwertner and Gov. Greg Abbott to bring Twitter to Texas have reached Musk, he isn’t letting it on. Today, Musk posted about the deal only to reiterate his points about free speech, and mainly tweeting about SpaceX activities with the Falcon 9 launch with NASA.

Schwertner just thought of the idea yesterday but plans on following up on his tweet to make the offer known to Musk. He also noted the city government in Jarrell, which neighbors the township of unincorporated Schwertner, is business-friendly.

“We’ve always been entrepreneurs in our family and we’ve always tried to help the communities,” Schwertner said. “And I think my offer is a serious gesture to help the citizens around Williamson County.”


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.