Elon Musk certainly has a lot going on.
Not only is he the CEO of multiple tech companies, including Twitter, SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company, but it now looks like the multi-billionaire will add “town owner” to his resume.
Musk is reportedly building a town in Texas that will serve as a place for his employees to live and work, sources told The Wall Street Journal. According to the publication, he’s acquired 3,500 acres of land just outside Austin and has described it as a “Texas utopia.”
The town, called Snailbrook, will be located next to his SpaceX and Boring Company facilities in Bastrop County, the Journal reports, citing deeds and land records they obtained.
Photos captured by Getty Images show the beginnings of the small town, which currently houses some modular homes, several large buildings, a warehouse, a sports court, pool, gym and lots of patches of dirt.
The name Snailbrook derives from The Boring Company’s directive to build machines that “move faster than a snail.”
The County has already approved streets called Boring Boulevard, Waterjet Way and Cutterhead Crossing, according to the report. A home on the site will become a Montessori school.
According to The Guardian, Musk relocated to Texas from California in 2020, calling California “the land of sort of overregulation, overlitigation, overtaxation”.
The Journal reports that Musk plans to charge employees who live in Snailbrook US$800 per month in rent — a fee far below local market rates — and has consulted with a wide range of people about the town, including Kanye West, West’s architectural designer and his ex-partner, Grimes.
As Gizmodo points out, companies have a long history of creating these so-called utopia towns for their workers, with mixed results. Many “created towns that were akin to a prison camps where employers are the landlord and the shopkeep and everything else one could need. Many towns were built by coal companies and the workers often lived in poverty and abuse.”
Previous reports suggest Musk likes to provide sleeping arrangements for his employees.
In December, it was announced that San Francisco authorities would investigate a complaint that Twitter violated the city’s building code by converting part of its headquarters into bedrooms for its employees.
A source who works for Twitter said at the time that employees were already working late to keep up with Musk’s expectations after he bought the company and said “it makes sense to an extent.”