An affiliate of Elon Musk's tunneling company buys land in Bastrop County
A company affiliated with the Boring Company, Elon Musk’s tunneling and infrastructure transportation company, is buying property in Bastrop County, the latest Austin-area expansion for companies led by the billionaire entreprenuer.
Property records filed with Bastrop Central Appraisal District show an entity called Gapped Bass LLC purchased 73 acres in northwest Bastrop County in May. The land is off FM 1209, not far from the Colorado River.
While the documents don't name the Boring Company specifically, filings with the Texas Secretary of State's office show that Gapped Bass is affiliated with the Boring Comoany — it shares the same address as the Boring Company's Pflugerville facility and Adam Pashaian, corporate controller for the Boring Company, is a registered agent for Gapped Bass. State filings also list Steve Davis, the Boring Company's president, as manager of the Gapped Bass entity.
Details on the Boring Company
The Boring Company is Musk's California-based infrastructure company that focuses on product lines based around tunneling, designed for a range of uses by utilities, pedestrians and freight companies. The Boring Company is also working on a “loop” concept where passengers could be transported between stations with autonomous vehicles at up to 150 miles per hour.
The Boring Company has had a presence in Central Texas since last year. In December, filings with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation showed the Boring Company was renovating a commercial space in Pflugerville, at 15709 Impact Way. It's the same address as the filings for Gapped Bass LLC.
None of the filings provide any detail on the Boring Company's plans for Central Texas, but the company's website currently lists a number of Austin job openings in engineering, production and operations. One of the job listings for the Boring Company also mentions plans for a research and development site in Bastrop.
Last year, the first hints that the company was expanding in the Central Texas region came with a cryptic tweet in November.
"Rumor has it that 'Austin Chalk' is geologically one of the best soils for tunneling. Want to find out? Austin jobs now available,” the company said in the post. It included a link that showed a number of job postings in both engineering and operations but did not provide any additional details.
What Gapped Bass LLC might do with the land in Bastrop County
It's not clear if the company has plans to build a tunnel in the Central Texas region, but it has a handful of projects at various stages nationwide. The Boring Company's main project to date has been a test tunnel in Hawthorne, California, and last month, the company's first operational tunnel began transporting passengers in underground Teslas in Las Vegas.
It also has proposed projects in Los Angeles and the East Coast. On Thursday, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, city commission voted the accept a plan for the company to build an underground transit loop as part of an effort to alleviate street-level traffic.
The Boring Company's Central Texas expansion comes as Musk increasingly focuses on Texas. Last year he moved to the Lone Star State to be closer to his two biggest focuses, SpaceX's South Texas facility and the future Tesla facility in Austin. In June, Musk revealed in a Twitter reply that he currently is renting a home worth $50,000 from SpaceX in Boca Chica, which he said he considers his primary residence.
Last year, Musk and Tesla announced that the company's new $1.1 billion manufacturing facility would be in southeastern Travis County facility. The site will produce Tesla's Cybertruck, Semi, Model 3 company sedan and other vehicles and include a battery manufacturing element. Tesla has said the facility could begin deliver vehicles this year.
SpaceX, which already has had a South Texas presence with operations near Boca Chica, might also be expanding into Austin, though no formal plans have been announced. In March, the SpaceX job site listed openings for two engineering positions in Austin – and one of the postings reads: "To keep up with global demand, SpaceX is breaking ground on a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Austin, TX."
Neuralink, Musk's neurotechnology company, also had job postings for Austin in recent months. It's not clear the company's exact plans.
Last summer, Musk also relocated his private foundation, the Musk Foundation, from California to Austin.