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Could a Twitter headquarters join Elon Musk’s other business interests in Texas?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Since Elon Musk moved to Texas in 2020, he has ramped up business activity in the Lone Star State. Many of Musk’s companies have offices or operational centers in the Austin area.

Some of these moves have been well-publicized — Musk made headlines when he moved the corporate headquarters for Tesla to Del Valle, just outside of Austin, on the site of the company’s new manufacturing facility.

Kara Carlson, who covers the tech sector for the Austin American-Statesman, said Musk has a number of other companies with sites in Central Texas.

The Boring Company, Musk’s tunneling and infrastructure business, and SpaceX, his aerospace company, have warehouses and test sites in Bastrop County. SpaceX also has a large presence in South Texas. Neuralink, Musk’s neurotechnology company, has an office in Del Valle, too.

Musk’s businesses are also active in Texas, Carlson said.

“We know that the Boring Company has at least made some proposals to put tunnels in various areas of Central Texas already, including downtown Austin,” she said. “There was one proposed in Kyle that got canceled.”

Carlson said Musk is adding lots of new jobs to the Texas economy — Tesla aims to have 10,000 workers at their Austin site by the end of this year. Some of these workers are moving to the area, which also impacts the housing market in Austin. Unlike other workplaces in the post-pandemic world, Carlson said Musk requires staff to be in state and onsite for work.

“What Tesla is doing primarily on that side is manufacturing, so that’s a lot of in-person building of cars and those workers are primarily on site,” she said. “There are the software and other various tech workers that build Tesla software that they also are on site now in Austin and the other locations. The Boring Company – also tunneling is very much an in-person job on many levels.”

Carlson said it is also possible Musk will build a Twitter headquarters in Austin eventually. Musk finalized his purchase of the social media platform in October and has since made headlines for his business practices at the company. Carlson said Tesla, which is publicly traded, gives a hint about how Musk’s management of Twitter might be affecting his other businesses.

“That stock’s been going down since about when Twitter was under consideration for purchase. But Austin’s a big focus. They’ve insisted Tesla is kind of one of their feature sites, one of their big focuses,” she said. “So that will probably still keep seeing a buildout, even if the company itself continues to see some of these hits to their stock and some reputation lost. But Musk is a very polarizing figure, so what he does at Twitter is going to affect his other companies and his reputation.”

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Sarah Asch