Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, has stated that he wants to develop a new city named “Starbase” around its southeast Texas launch site.
The billionaire tech tycoon said the city would cover an area “much larger than Boca Chica,” the unincorporated seaside village where SpaceX constructed its huge rocket factory.
In the last few days, officials in Cameron County reported that SpaceX approached them about integrating Starbase as a city.
Officials said that the company would have to go through a series of bureaucratic hoops to bring plans to fruition.
In a statement on Tuesday, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño said, “If SpaceX and Elon Musk would like to pursue down this path, they must abide by all state incorporation statutes…Cameron County will process any appropriate petitions in conformity with applicable law.”
According to the Texas Municipal League, SpaceX would need to get residents to sign a petition. They would send it to the county judge, who would then call an election on whether the municipality should be incorporated. If the referendum passes, the city will have the authority to enact its own laws and ordinances.
SpaceX has practically taken over most Boca Chica, a small town on the Gulf of Mexico’s coast about two miles north of the Rio Grande.
In 2014, the company broke ground on its launch pad, and in 2019 it began testing rockets there. According to sources, SpaceX eventually purchased most of Boca Chica’s three dozen homes as construction progressed, though a few homeowners declined to sell.
Musk’s intention to build his own city is the latest indication that he is settling in Texas. Last year, he relocated to Texas from California, and his electric-car company, Tesla, plans to develop a factory in Austin.
According to a job posting, SpaceX plans to break ground on a new facility in Austin to support the development of its Starlink satellite internet service.