For weeks, speculation has swirled over Tesla choosing the Austin area as the new home of its $1.1-billion Gigafactory. On Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk made it official with the announcement that Tesla had chosen Austin over Tulsa, OK, which was the other city under consideration.
Planned for 2100 acres of land on SH 130 and Harold Green Road in the Del Valle area, Tesla has vowed to create 5000 new jobs, many with a starting salary averaging $35,000, although other positions are expected to pay more than that. Austin Mayor Steve Adler believes these are the kinds of jobs we need right now because they pay fairly well, and many do not require a four-year degree.
“There will be a day we get past this virus,” Adler said Wednesday. “When we do, we need to exit this as a stronger, better city. And one of the ways we do that is, we have projects like Tesla, like Project Connect, that are going to deliver us jobs at a time when we’re going to need them the most.”
Both Travis County and the Del Valle Independent School District recently approved tax incentives for Tesla. The Gigafactory is estimated to generate $1-billion in capital investment to the region, millions of dollars in annual tax revenue, and support thousands of new non-Tesla jobs that will join the Tesla supply chain.
Texas Economist Dr. Ray Perryman believes Tesla is a perfect fit for Austin.
“I think it makes a lot of sense,”said Perryman. “Tesla is at the cutting-edge of some important technologies going forward, and very consistent with a lot of the research being done at UT.”
Musk has indicated ground may be broken sometime in the third quarter of 2020. The Austin City Council still needs to give its approval before that can happen.
“I look forward to working on and resolving the issues leading to final city approval,” Adler said.