From a sprawling factory outside Austin to a property-buying binge on the Gulf Coast, Musk is making an imprint in a state that has long welcomed eccentric outsiders.
On the outskirts of Austin, Texas, near the banks of the Colorado River, Tesla Inc.’s new auto plant is close to completion. The massive factory, known as Giga Texas, spans 8 million square feet and sits on a roughly 1,700-acre plot.
Some 350 miles away, where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico, SpaceX is building Starship, a rocket designed to take people to the Moon and Mars. SpaceX and its real-estate arm have bought up more than 250 nearby properties, from vacant lots and a gun range to small bungalows owned by snowbirds and retirees. Some employees—including Musk himself—have been living in the houses.