© Reuters. The brand new Tesla manufacturing facility is seen in Austin, Texas, U.S. October 8, 2021. REUTERS/Tina Bellon
By Tina Bellon
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Austin prides itself on “holding it bizarre,” however the metropolis’s success at luring extra huge firms resembling Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc has some residents cautious of getting priced out of their distinctive tradition.
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, mentioned on Thursday the electrical automobile maker will transfer its headquarters https://www.reuters.com/enterprise/autos-transportation/tesla-moving-headquarters-austin-texas-says-ceo-musk-2021-10-07 from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas.
Housing costs within the Austin metro space have skyrocketed in recent times, with massive tech companies together with Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc’s Google and Oracle Corp (NYSE:) constructing new campuses in and across the metropolis.
“I am actually blissful for all the roles this can create, however my household is already unable to purchase a home proper now, and it’ll solely worsen with Tesla,” Trish Webb, 47, a resident of South Austin, mentioned on Friday whereas on her lunch break from her job as a hospital administrative assistant.
Median costs for Austin homes have risen some 40% during the last two years, with the median worth for a home round $549,000 in September, based on actual property brokerage Redfin (NASDAQ:).
Frequent studies of out-of-state consumers, notably Californians, buying homes in money at double the asking worth have annoyed many Austinites. Over the summer season, practically three in each 4 homes bought within the metropolis went for above the asking worth, Redfin information confirmed.
Even earlier than Musk’s relocation announcement, the electrical automobile maker deliberate to deliver some 10,000 employees to an imposing new manufacturing facility east of the town heart. It’s unclear what number of company employees Tesla will relocate from California, or rent in Texas.
“All these Californians coming right here can also be altering the tradition, and I am anxious it can develop into an excessive amount of,” mentioned Reed Chorry, 26, who moved to Austin from Houston a number of years in the past and works in gross sales.
The town’s unofficial motto – “Preserve Austin Bizarre” – has given rise to a unusual, bohemian cultural scene that has turned native music festivals like Austin Metropolis Limits and South by Southwest into nationwide sights.
“It will likely be onerous to maintain that up when Austin turns into greater and greater,” mentioned Ryan Baker, 32, who works at a restaurant in East Austin.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler welcomed Tesla’s resolution and mentioned the corporate matches proper in with Austin’s sturdy revolutionary, entrepreneurial and environmentally centered tradition. His workplace didn’t reply to questions on housing affordability.
Austin’s speedy progress can also be anticipated to exacerbate the town’s congestion issues, with three out of 4 residents driving to work alone of their automobile.
Whereas Austin is working to enhance its public transit community, Tesla’s manufacturing facility is positioned in a transit desert.
The town could consider transit choices to the plant, however it expects most of Tesla’s employees to drive to the plant, Austin Transportation Director Rob Spillar mentioned. Austin hopes a rise in housing, shops and medical clinics will entice employees to reside near the plant, Spillar mentioned.
Roberts Communities, a developer for reasonably priced manufactured housing, is hoping to profit. The corporate has purchased massive plots of land simply minutes from the Tesla manufacturing facility and sells homes at round $80,000.
Tesla manufacturing facility employees will obtain a mean annual wage of $47,000, an earnings thought of low by Travis County’s well being and human providers division.
“All these employees will need to reside someplace good, clear and reasonably priced with their households,” mentioned Brandon Lengthy, a Roberts Communities gross sales supervisor on the native Oak Ranch website.