It may not matter if Elon Musk can’t remake Twitter to his design. He reportedly has ambitions to build a real-world utopia.
According to an in-depth Wall Street Journal report citing multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, Elon Musk has purchased thousands of acres of farmland outside of Austin, Texas. He allegedly plans to build his own town on the land. The WSJ says that in meetings with landowners and real estate agents, Musk and his reps have described a utopian town where his employees could both live and work along the Colorado River.
Boring Co. execs have reportedly looked into how they might incorporate a town in Bastrop County, 35 miles from the state capital in Austin. People with knowledge of the plans say Musk wants Boring, SpaceX, and Tesla employees living in and around Austin to have access to homes they could rent at more affordable rates than they might find in an iconic tech location like the notoriously expensive San Francisco, CA.
The Journal reports that the town is already more real than not. The property which might become Musk’s utopia adjoins incomplete SpaceX and Boring Co. facilities in Bastrop. The WSJ says the location already hosts several modular homes and recreational facilities, including a pool and gym. Signs at the location say it is “Snailbrook, TX, est. 2021″—”Snailbrook” also references Boring’s unofficial mascot, the snail.
Insider notes that Musk has expressed utopian inspirations in the past:
In 2021, Musk issued an “urgent” plea for more housing in Austin, Texas as SpaceX and Tesla looked to fill hundreds of jobs in the area. At the time, Musk had said he planned to form a new city called Starbase at SpaceX’s launch facilities in Texas, about a five-hour drive from Austin. But, while SpaceX employees have taken over much of Boca Chica, Texas, it’s unclear whether Musk ever fully established the city.
Utopian concepts based on auto manufacturing needs aren’t new. Henry Ford’s failed Fordlandia was a Ford Motor Company attempt to establish a rubber plantation in the Brazilian Amazon in the 1920s. Ford envisioned a self-sustaining American-styled community with homes, schools, churches, and modern conveniences. It would house thousands of workers and supply latex for Ford’s tire-making operations.
Fordlandia was doomed from the start by bad planning, leadfooted cultural missteps, and labor disputes. The land bought for the failed experiment was sold back to the Brazilian government.
Where Henry Ford failed, however, Musk has enough input from creatives to help. The WSJ reports that he has consulted several in his circle about Snailbrook, including Kanye West, the hip hop mogul’s architectural designer, and Musk’s ex and mother to two of his many children, the singer Grimes.