Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that The Boring Co. and SpaceX received at least 13 Texas Commission on Environmental Quality violations and number of modular homes on The Boring Co. site.

Since moving his startup The Boring Co. to Bastrop County in 2021, Elon Musk has grown his land holdings. The development includes Boring’s 80,000-square-foot warehouse, a bodega and a housing complex.

Another Musk venture, SpaceX, completed construction on the company’s 12-acre Project ECHO warehouse in 2023 opposite FM 1209 along the Colorado River.

Together, the two companies make up about 281 acres of the billionaire’s roughly 3,500 acres in the Austin area.

“Having something like [The] Boring Co., SpaceX located in your backyard—and to a greater extent Tesla—is good,” lifelong Bastrop resident Reid Sharp said. “It means more people, more opportunity.”

The big picture

The installation of Boring and SpaceX in Bastrop County has expanded the workforce opportunities in the region.

The two companies have brought about 1,200 medium- to high-level jobs to Bastrop County and employ local contractors, Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mel Hamner said.

The two businesses follow the establishment of Tesla—another company owned by Musk. Musk moved Tesla’s headquarters to eastern Travis County—30 minutes from SpaceX and Boring facilities—in 2020. Since that time, the company has paid $15 million in taxes to Travis County. Tesla now boasts 15,000 employees in the Austin area.

With an estimated value of $7 billion, Boring manufactures tunneling machinery for traffic, utility, freight and pedestrian use. SpaceX’s Project ECHO facility produces Starlink satellites capable of global internet service.

Boring and Starlink did not ask for or receive incentives from the county for building in the area, Hamner said. The 108-acre space neighboring Boring has the potential to accommodate 1,500 houses.

The impact

As expansion of the area continues, water and road improvements are a priority for the city of Bastrop, City Manager Sylvia Carrillo said.

Hamner said traffic from the two companies has not added to transportation issues on county roads in the immediate area because Walker Watson Road, the side road for Boring, was built by the two companies and paved by the county. The road can handle 1,700 cars a day, more than the current demand.

“[Boring and Starlink] have been a little slow sometimes to get the correct permits, but they’ll pay the final one,” Hamner said.

Since May 2022, SpaceX and Boring Co. have received at least 13 Texas Commission on Environmental Quality violations, four of which are major. A complaint about the possible disposal of wastewater was received on Jan. 1, awaiting investigation.

As of the time of publication, Boring has not responded to Community Impact’s request for comment.

Musk companies’ Central Texas impact

Sources: Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Bastrop ISD/Community Impact

Chap Ambrose runs the “Keep Bastrop Boring” campaign to bring attention to the company’s violations.

“It’s really unfortunate and disappointing as someone who’s, like, a fan of a lot of the same things Elon wants to do,” Ambrose said.

Going forward

Bastrop Chamber of Commerce President Becki Womble has observed some positive outcomes from the two companies.

“I think that Elon Musk is kind of a unique individual, and there’s this mystique around him, but I’m not finding that like with the people that are working at either one of those organizations,” Womble said.

Under Boring ownership, Hyperloop Plaza opened on a neighboring plot of land in November. The plaza is home to three businesses: The Boring Bodega, His & Her Barbershop Salon, and Prufrock Pub, all of which are open to the public.
The Boring Bodega sells snacks, drinks and frozen meals. (Jane Turchi/Community Impact)
The Boring Bodega sells snacks, drinks and frozen meals. (Jane Turchi/Community Impact)
Events such as Sunshine Yoga are hosted weekly at the plaza. Pickleball courts, paddles and balls are available for use outside the building for $1 an hour.

“We’re seeing a lot more interaction from The Boring Co., especially with a bodega,” Womble said. “They’re starting to engage, but I think there’s just a natural curiosity.”
A playground and pickleball court are located at Hyperloop Plaza. (Traci Rodriguez/Community Impact)
A playground and pickleball court are located at Hyperloop Plaza. (Traci Rodriguez/Community Impact)
What's next

While at the time of publication, Boring and SpaceX have not responded to Community Impact’s request for comment, there are signs of more development to come to Bastrop.

According to a job posting on WayUp, Musk will open a Montessori school called Ad Astra in July. The school will be located on about 40 acres on a former horse ranch.

The companies are trying to generate community interest in a sports center on the property along the Colorado River, Hamner said.

“It’s all just fascinating and fantastic,” Sharp said. “[To] think about [how] that’s happening in our own backyard and the benefits that our own children and grandchildren might see out of it—I mean, we’re really on the map.”