Texas rancher offers Elon Musk free land for Twitter headquarters
SCHWERTNER, Texas (KXAN) — One central Texas rancher wants Elon Musk to move his newest venture to the area, and he’s offering his own property as bait.
Jim Schwertner is president and CEO of Schwertner Farms Inc., which runs Capitol Land & Livestock east of Jarrell, Texas.
Schwertner said the company is one of the largest livestock brokers in the United States — and he wants some of the land to become the new headquarters for Twitter.
“Elon, Move twitter to Schwertner, TX , 38 miles North of Austin and we will give you 100 Acres for FREE,” Schwertner tweeted on Tuesday.
With over 20,000 acres across both Bell and Williamson counties, Schwertner said Musk could have his pick of which 100 acres to plant Twitter.
“We think this is a place to have new technology,” Schwertner said. “This has always been a rural area for agriculture, but it’s changing fast. And so we thought why not let Elon Musk be the catalyst to make it happen?”
Schwertner thinks the move would be a mutual win.
“We have a lot of land. This area is really growing. We have affordable housing, and I thought it’d be an excellent opportunity for him and for us,” Schwertner said.
He’s also a big fan of Musk’s.
“Elon Musk is the greatest thing that ever happened to Texas and central Texas,” Schwertner said. “When he came here from California and brought SpaceX and Tesla, and then The Boring Company, it’s a big boom for Texas and central Texas.”
Precinct 4 Williamson County Comissioner Russ Boles said Schwertner is “more than just a rancher.”
“Jim is a successful businessman and someone who can deliver on his 100-acre offer,” he said
Boles said the county “can give them a good business environment,” pointing to their recent deal with Samsung.
Twitter’s current headquarters is in San Francisco, California, but Musk’s purchase of the social media platform on Monday has prompted a wave of support to move to Texas.
“Bring Twitter to Texas to join Tesla, SpaceX and the Boring Company,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted from his campaign account on Monday.
“It’s no surprise that there is speculation about Elon Musk moving Twitter’s headquarters to one of, if not the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country, especially after having already announced relocating Tesla here,” Laura Huffman, president and CEO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, told KXAN earlier this week.
Huffman cited the area’s talent pipeline and education system and a “dynamic live/work culture” as reasons why companies have been looking to expand or relocate offices to the Austin area.
Economist Matt Patton agrees.
“Over the last few years, we’ve obviously demonstrated that this is a good place to be in the tech world,” said Patton, executive vice president of Angelou Economics.
He said while most of Twitter’s employees are still working from home or in a hybrid-model and may not necessarily move to central Texas if the HQ does, the move would trigger other companies to the Austin metro area.
“Some of those downstream suppliers that might want to come with Twitter,” he said. “From Apple to Oracle — Dell obviously in Round Rock — that’s just another big name out there saying, ‘Yes, this is where we call home.’”
Patton and Boles acknowledge some change will be needed, such as more infrastructure, but Boles said it would be “no more challenges than normal.”
“We’re always working on infrastucture. That’s one of the big issues in central Texas, if not the state,” he said.
“We’re ready for some diversity in our community, and I think the time is right,” Schwertner said.
Still, Schwertner has received no word yet on whether his 76-year-old farm will be shepherded toward tech.
“No phone call yet, but I’m standing by,” he said.
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