Tesla adding to land holdings for Austin factory

TruckElectric

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By Shonda Novak

Posted Sep 25, 2020 at 12:44 PM

Continuing at full speed with development of its electric vehicle assembly plant in southeastern Travis County, Tesla recently purchased 381 acres adjacent to its existing 2,100-acre site at Harold Green Road and Texas 130, deed records show.

Tesla also is believed to be pursuing additional land purchases in Southeast Austin along the Texas 130 corridor, according to local real estate developers knowledgeable about the area.

Tesla’s $1.1 billion assembly plant is expected to intensify ongoing development in the area, as Tesla becomes a magnet for vendors, suppliers and other automotive-related companies to locate nearby.

Work on Tesla’s site off Harold Green Road has been underway since summer, and crews could start pouring a concrete slab as soon as the next couple of weeks. California-based Tesla purchased the initial 2,100 acres, formerly planned for a large mixed-use project called Austin Green, from Martin Marietta for $97 million.
Martin Marietta, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of building materials, operates a concrete plant on the property, and will supply concrete for Tesla’s assembly factory. Martin Marietta’s plant will be relocated elsewhere on the site to make way for Tesla’s factory.

In addition to Tesla’s factory, the site eventually could include research, development and design facilities and battery-manufacturing operations, according to analysts, commercial real estate brokers and people familiar with Tesla’s plans.

Tesla has said the factory will employ about 5,000 people, with most of the jobs — 65% — using unskilled labor that the company says will not require a college degree.

The company recently filed a site plan for 280 acres of the initial 2,100-acre site. The footprint of the development amounts to almost 8 million square feet, including parking.
Tesla’s site plan had been available for download on the city of Austin’s website, and the American-Statesman published portions of it last week.

After publication by the newspaper, however, the city removed the plan from its website and is seeking an opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office as to whether it constitutes public information. City representatives have said city staffers mistakenly posted the plans to the website, because GarzaEMC — Tesla’s civil engineer for the project — has contended they are copyrighted and proprietary.

Tesla has a reputation for keeping its plans closely held. Local real estate brokers say there could be any number of explanations for why the company doesn’t want detailed plans for its site released, such as competitive considerations or security concerns.

Local developer Karl Koebel, a principal with Marketplace Real Estate Group, said Tesla’s newly purchased 381 acres, which are along Gilbert Road and just northeast of its 2,100-acre site, give Tesla not only more land, but additional access to its property, since Gilbert Road intersects with FM 969.

“Being able to tie into (969) gives them multiple points of access” to primary roads, which along with 969 include Harold Green Road and the Texas 130 frontage road, Koebel said.

He and his business partner Doug Launius own about 900 acres in the Del Valle area. Koebel said Austin-area developers have taken to calling Texas 130 “the new tech corridor in Austin.” The toll road offers access to San Antonio, which “has a robust tech presence in the military space,” Launius said.

Last week, Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, a financial services and investment firm based in Los Angeles, told the Statesman that he expects to see more development at Tesla’s site.

“I see, ultimately, them making this much more than a typical factory,” Ives said. “It’s not just about the (vehicle) factory.”

Ives raised the prospect of research, development and design facilities, uses that would “take advantage of Austin’s engineering talent.” A battery-making operation also could be a possibility, as well as a test-driving area, analysts have said.

“There is a lot of wood to chop ahead,” Ives said, referring to potential future development.

With Tesla’s acquisition of the 381 additional acres, “we can expect more announcements from Tesla, both from real estate and plant expansion,” said Jill Rowe, a commercial real estate broker in Central Texas who is not involved in the project.

Beyond the factory, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the project will include amenities for the public, including a boardwalk and a hike-and-bike trail.

“We’re going to make it a factory that is going to be stunning,” Musk said in announcing the project. “It’s going to basically be an ecological paradise — birds in the trees, butterflies, fish in the stream — and it will be open to the public as well.”

Plans have yet to materialize for the “ecological paradise,” although those could come in subsequent phases.

“The factory is being designed, reviewed and permitted in phases as provided in the (city) code and agreements,” Richard Suttle Jr., Tesla’s attorney in Austin, said in an email last week. “Adequate information has been provided, reviewed and approved to allow construction of the basic footprint. As the site gets farther along in the design and review process more detail will emerge.”

Tesla’s plant will manufacture the company’s futuristic-looking Cybertruck pickup, among other vehicles. Tesla is aiming for the factory to open next year.

The company was granted tax breaks by Travis County and the Del Valle school district, totaling about $60 million, to help attract the project.

Tesla officials have said entry-level pay will start at $35,000. The average annual wage would be just over $47,000, and the median annual salary would be $68,303. The jobs will come with full benefits, Tesla said.


Source: Austin American-Statesman
 

Crissa

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Standard move on Tesla's part, but I don't think they'll win this one. Site plans are public info unless there's a specific law to shield them from exposure. Being copyrighted is not an excuse.

-Crissa
 

Mini2nut

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I had a strong suspicion that additional acreage would be purchased around Austin. I think Elon can’t wait to pull all manufacturing out of CA. I predict all vehicle manufacturing and the corporate headquarters will eventually be in TX.
 

Crissa

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I had a strong suspicion that additional acreage would be purchased around Austin. I think Elon can’t wait to pull all manufacturing out of CA. I predict all vehicle manufacturing and the corporate headquarters will eventually be in TX.
He's said as much, but I doubt he will. There's a certain attraction to California and we have a very robust infrastructure that just is lacking outside Austin.

Hard to get people to relocate outside of California if they're not retirees.

-Crissa
 

Ehninger1212

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A lot of new development about to be starting around this factory. Source "anonymous" ;)
 

Ehninger1212

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I had a strong suspicion that additional acreage would be purchased around Austin. I think Elon can’t wait to pull all manufacturing out of CA. I predict all vehicle manufacturing and the corporate headquarters will eventually be in TX.
I dont think he will ever pull ALL manufacturing out of California.. The model 3 was the number one selling car there in Q1 2020.
 

Sirfun

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This video from yesterday shows the new land Tesla acquired. Lots of good acreage without all the swamps. Well Done, Tesla!

The new acreage shots start at 13:15
 

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