BROWNSVILLE, Texas – House prices are starting to shoot up in Brownsville and Elon Musk is part of the reason.

So says Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez. Asked if Musk’s recent tweet telling people to “move to Brownsville” was having an impact on houses prices, Mendez said:

“It is true, actually. Part of it is demand. We know there is limited supply in Brownsville. We’re trying to get more online as quickly as we can. But, the reality is it is a finite amount of property that is available. Elon Musk certainly had an impact on that. All the industry and innovation that is happening in Brownsville. It is certainly causing more people to want to move here. We are seeing a demand and a rise in prices as well.”

Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez

Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, is developing a rocket launch site on nearby Boca Chica beach. Asked what impact this is having on the local economy, Mendez said:

“We are seeing a lot of people moving to the area. Right now, SpaceX has about 1,400 employees. They are growing their operations even more in the next few months. So, we are seeing a pretty big impact, not just on the employee side and people moving into town. But, there is a lot of real good economic impact happening as well. And we are working on some other space initiatives that are a result of SpaceX being in Brownsville.”

Asked how important and exciting it is to have SpaceX in the region, Mendez said:

“It is extremely exciting. To have the leading company for space exploration in our own back yard is something that is extremely exciting for all of us in Brownsville. We see people coming from all parts of the country, even people coming from other parts of the world to come see the launches. It is incredibly exciting and it is a huge deal. The things that they are doing and the things that they are planning and the things that are actually occurring at the Boca Chica launch site are things that are having a worldwide impact. We are fortunate to have that here.”

Space Channel coming to Brownsville

Mendez spoke about SpaceX and New Space in his recent virtual State of the City address.

“2021 will be an exciting year for Brownsville and a year that we will begin to see the fruits of our labor. SpaceX has ramped up operations and the impact is very visible. So visible that we now have the attention of the world focused on Boca Chica. On Tuesday, March 30th, SpaceX launched its fourth high-altitude test of Starship from Brownsville. We understand that SpaceX continues to have expansion plans at the launch site and we look forward to working with them.”

Mendez said the City of Brownsville is actively building a New Space ecosystem in Brownsville to attract more space-releasee companies.

“New Space is projected to be a trillion-dollar industry by 2030 and Brownsville will position itself as a city that welcomes this industry and fosters innovation,” he said.

Mendez said the arrival of Space Ventures in Brownsville is an “early win” in this effort. He said the company continues to expand its footprint in the city.

“Space Ventures is a technology platform where new space companies can raise up to $5 million for their startup operations. They have hundreds of companies interested in the platform and we anticipate being able to bring some of those to Brownsville,” Mendez said.

“If they start here that means they grow here and they are more likely to stay here for the longterm, bringing further capital, development, and workforce to our city. We look forward to our partnership with Space Ventures.”

Mendez also made news in his State of the City address by announcing the arrival of the Space Channel.

“Continuing the space front, I am excited to announce the City of Brownsville has entered into an economic development agreement with a space channel. Space Channel is the world’s only media channel dedicated to space news and entertainment. Space Channel has agreed to build its broadcasting studios in Brownsville, hire Brownsville talent and broadcast Brownsville to the world. We are excited about the decision to make Brownsville their home base,” Mendez said.

Mendez noted that on March 30 a tweet from Elon Musk “caught worldwide attention.” Mendez explained:

“Elon Musk tweeted that he was donating $20 million to Cameron County schools and $10 million to the City of Brownsville for downtown revitalization. More and more companies have shown interest in our city and we believe that the interest will continue to rise as more companies see the value of Brownsville.” 

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story and podcast shows a rough visualization of the size of Starhopper, Starship, and Super Heavy, at SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch site. (Visualization: Austin Barnard/Teslarati)

Here is the audio from Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez’s 2021 virtual State of the City address:

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