Austin: Tesla Makes it Official – $1 Billion Factory Coming to Travis County
Feature Illustration: A rendering of the Gigafactory that is currently under construction in Berlin, Germany. The Tesla factory planned for Travis County would be on a similar scale.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Austin (Travis County) — After nailing down several local government incentive packages, Elon Musk officially confirmed during an earnings call yesterday his plan to bring a $1.1 billion Tesla electric vehicle manufacturing factory to southeast Travis County.
Site development is expected to begin later this summer and initial operations at the new 4-to-5 million square-foot Gigafactory could begin by the fourth quarter of 2021. Upon completion, the factory is expected to provide 5,001 jobs by year four of a 20-year term in its development agreement with the county. Minimum wages would be $15 an hour.
During construction, the agreement also requires an owner controlled insurance plan to enhance accident/injury prevention, as well as use of historically underused business contractors and subcontractors.
The news was immediately greeted with praise from Gov. Gregg Abbott, the Travis county judge, Austin Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders. In the weeks preceding Musk’s confirmation, Tesla obtained incentive packages–through an affiliate entity, Colorado River Project LLC— from Travis County and the Del Valle Independent School District valued at least $60 million.
“Tesla is one of the most exciting and innovative companies in the world, and we are proud to welcome its team to the State of Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas has the best workforce in the nation and we’ve built an economic environment that allows companies like Tesla to innovate and succeed. Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas will keep the Texas economy the strongest in the nation and will create thousands of jobs for hard-working Texans. I look forward to the tremendous benefits that Tesla’s investment will bring to Central Texas and to the entire state.”
Gary Farmer of Opportunity Austin said, “Tesla’s decision to locate its newest Gigafactory in Austin will expand and enhance our innovative culture while also providing new and exciting career opportunities for all segments of our Central Texas workforce. The company’s pioneering spirit and advanced manufacturing technologies will be instrumental in our region’s economic recovery and our sustainable growth for the longer term.”
The factory will be producing the Model Y SUV and the Cybertruck. Musk predicted a factory that would be “stunning.”
“It’s right on the Colorado River, so we’re actually going to have a boardwalk where there will be a hiking/biking trail. 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,” Musk said Wednesday.
The factory will be construct within the 2,100-acre Austin Green, a Momark Development master-planned, mixed-use project that is near the intersection of SH 130 and Harold Green Road.
Aerial view of the south sector of the Momark Development property, between the Colorado River and Harold Green Road. Image: Google Earth.
Workers for the factory are to be recruited from Del Valle schools, historically black colleges and universities, the Workforce Solutions Capital Area, local training and apprenticeship programs, and the county’s workforce program for residents exiting the criminal justice system.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.