Tesla appears to be preparing a large new industrial facility west of Houston in a project that further deepens the electric vehicle-maker’s investments in Texas about a year after billionaire Elon Musk moved its headquarters to Austin.
Little is known about Tesla’s plans, but the Fortune 500 company signed a lease late last year for about 1.03 million square feet at 111 Empire West, part of the 300-acre Empire West Business Park in Brookshire, according to research reports from real estate brokerages Cushman & Wakefield and Savills. The landlord and developer of the park, Dallas-based Stream Realty Partners, declined to comment. Tesla officials did not respond to a request for comment.
A certificate of occupancy issued by the city of Brookshire in October names Tesla in Building 9 at Empire West, about 6 miles west of Katy and 36 miles west of downtown Houston.
Mike Barnes, Brookshire’s interim city administrator, said he didn’t know details about a lease, but added that Tesla officials have been in communication with the city’s permitting office. Permits are being processed for a portion of the building but haven’t been issued, city officials said.
“We’re familiar with the Tesla project primarily from a permitting perspective. Some of their engineering-construction folks have come in with regards to initiating some dialogue,” Barnes said Tuesday.
Although Austin is the focal point of Tesla’s manufacturing presence in Texas, with its roughly 4.3 million-square-foot, $1.1 billion Gigafactory there, opening a large industrial facility in Brookshire would raise the small city’s profile among industrial developers and auto manufacturers.
“If that indeed comes to fruition, that will give us bragging rights,” Barnes said. “A company of international renown like Tesla choosing Brookshire, Texas, really helps us diversify and enhances greater Houston’s standing in the global marketplace.”
I’ll be honest, Brookshire is far enough west of here that I don’t think of it as “greater Houston”. Maybe that’s just me being narrow-minded, I’ll leave that to you. Assuming this actually happens, the effect on a sleepy little town like Brooskshire is certain to be enormous, for good and for bad. I wonder how many future employees of that place will live in the actual Brookshire area, and how many will be driving in from 20+ miles away. File this away under “things to look at again in another ten years or so”.