SpaceX facility under construction near The Boring Company in Bastrop

BASTROP — SpaceX has begun construction of a half-million-square-foot building on rural property in Bastrop, directly across from where another Elon Musk-owned business, The Boring Company, has made its home .

The 521,000 square foot building – about the size of five or six HEB stores – sits on Walker Watson Road in Bastrop, about a 15-minute drive from the city center and in the middle of a rural area marked by pastures for cows and farmland.

The facility will cost about $43 million and is listed as a “shell building,” according to documents filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

It is officially referred to as “Project Echo” in TDLR filings, although project site documents located on the property itself list the operator as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., more commonly known as SpaceX .

While it’s unclear for what purpose the SpaceX facility is being built, it sits directly across from The Boring Co., a tunneling company owned by Musk. TBC tried to do business with local governments from Austin to San Antonio. The company eventually wants to build an underground highway tunnel between the two major metropolitan areas.

Musk appears to have visited the new SpaceX site in Bastrop last month. A video posted to his Twitter account on October 2 shows Musk, one of his children and other associates on site next to the warehouse as a tunnel boring machine rotates from the ground.

“Prufrock II emerging from the ground,” Musk said of the video, which is TBC’s next generation tunnel boring machine.

According to the TBC website, Prufrock II can tunnel at a rate of 1 mile per week, which is six times faster than its current tunnel boring machines.

The Prufrock II in Musk’s video was tunneled from The Boring Co. site to the SpaceX site across the street, a distance of about 100 meters.

Bastrop County is east of Travis County, where Tesla is headquartered.

According to the development order posted on the property, construction of the SpaceX building is expected to be complete by March.

Annie Blanks writes for the Express-News through Report for America, a national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms. [email protected]

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