Real-estate investors are already circling homes in the Texas border town where Elon Musk said there would be ‘several thousand’ jobs


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Elon Musk shone a spotlight on Brownsville, Texas, last week — and real-estate investors answered the call.

The city in the state’s southernmost tip, which sits on the US-Mexico border, is home to one of the SpaceX’s rocket-production facilities.

The tech billionaire, who founded SpaceX in 2002, announced via Twitter on March 30 that he was donating $30 million to revitalize the city’s downtown and improve the schools in Cameron County, where Brownsville is.

Musk then tweeted: “Please consider moving to Starbase or greater Brownsville/South Padre area in Texas & encourage friends to do so! SpaceX’s hiring needs for engineers, technicians, builders & essential support personnel of all kinds are growing rapidly.”

As of April 7, SpaceX had more than 111 job postings at its rocket-construction and launch site that broke ground in 2014. Musk has dubbed the facility and surrounding area Starbase. “Starbase will grow by several thousand people over the next year or two,” he tweeted.

It’s in the tiny neighborhood of Boca Chica, which has just half a dozen residents near where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico. Brownsville, 20 miles west, is the closest city, with about 180,000 residents. Musk’s tweet also referred to South Padre Island, a popular resort area just north of Starship on a barrier island with long sandy beaches. The whole region is known as the Rio Grande Valley.

Brownsville realtor Bruno Zavaleta told Insider that people were already heeding Musk’s advice. Since Musk’s tweet, he said he had received about three to four inquiries a day from people interested in buying homes in Brownsville. Two of those inquiries are already in the process of turning into purchases.

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When he talks to prospective buyers who call, Zavaleta said, his first question is: “OK, are you moving down here?” When they answer “no” but say they’re an investor, he asks if they’ve reached out because of Musk’s tweet.

“I just point-blank ask them, and they’re like, ‘Yup.'” he added.

They hail from as far away as Austin, Texas, California, and Atlanta, Zavaleta told the local NBC news affiliate.

Craig Grove, a Brownsville broker and the owner of GRT Realty, witnessed a comparable uptick in inquiries over the past week. 

Since the tweet, he said, “my phone activity in general — the number of calls — has gone up dramatically.”

In fact, Grove told Insider, he’s working with an investor with a $2 …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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