Tesla Moving to Texas? San Antonio Wants In, Local Leaders Say

Tesla moving to Texas

Following news that Tesla could be moving to Texas in or near the Austin area, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation is hoping to sway the Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle company to plant its latest electric cybertruck factory closer to San Antonio.

“San Antonio’s expertise in the cybersecurity and automotive manufacturing sector strengthens Austin’s value proposition as a technology leader,” said Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and CEO of the local economic development agency. “We will continue pursuing Tesla as they consider all of their location options in the great State of Texas.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted he plans to move Tesla’s headquarters from California to Nevada or Texas, following California’s response to the coronavirus, which he criticized as overreaching.

Texas formerly lost out on Tesla’s $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant in 2014 to Reno, Nevada.

The Interstate 35 corridor would present a unique opportunity for Tesla to accelerate its administrative, tech, and manufacturing operations, Saucedo-Herrera said.

The possibility of Tesla planting roots in Texas is an exciting proposition for San Antonio’s technology sector, local tech industry leaders said.

David Heard, CEO of local technology workforce advocacy group Tech Bloc, said the move would be very beneficial for all of Central Texas, including San Antonio, should Tesla follow through.

“San Antonio can supply some of the Tesla workforce as well [even if it does choose Austin],” Heard said. “We have the Alamo Colleges District, which has lots of programs set up to train talent for manufacturing jobs.”

With local manufacturers already present in or near San Antonio such as Toyota, Boeing, and Caterpillar, a move near or between San Antonio and Austin would make sense, he said.

A move away from California’s Silicon Valley would not only be “a huge validation of Central Texas as a massive mega-hub for innovation and for software development,” but “would say a lot about Texas and our economy,” Heard said.

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Port San Antonio OKs Pact to Develop Innovation Center

Port San Antonio, TX

Port San Antonio's board of directors on Wednesday took the first steps toward building a new facility that leaders of the sprawling industrial campus in South San Antonio hope will make it a destination for sports enthusiasts, science education, and innovation.

The board voted unanimously at its monthly meeting to contract American Triple I Partners, a local development firm chaired by former Mayor Henry Cisneros, to lead the design and construction management efforts for an innovation center to be constructed on the 1,900-acre Port San Antonio campus.

The Port's leadership plans for the center to host esports tournaments, conferences, concerts, and other events. In addition, it will serve as the home of the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, or SAMSAT, which houses artifacts and gadgets from the technological past, as well as showcase technology built by Port tenants.

Co-working space and a makerspace, for building devices and working on other projects, will serve both early-stage entrepreneurs and students on the innovation center grounds.

The center will also procure food and beverage vendors.

"We want this facility to represent not just what the Port is today, but what the Port is striving to be and what San Antonio is striving to be – a truly first-class facility," said Jim Perschbach, the Port's president and CEO.

The draw of the gaming community is expected to be the main revenue driver at the facility. Perschbach cited market research that predicts esports will trump the income potential of all sports except the NFL. The global esports market is expected to reach $3 billion by 2025, according to recent analysis.

In early 2018, Perschbach took the reins of the Port, a public entity created in the wake of the 2001 closure of Kelly Air Force base, with the charge from board members to pursue a vision that reimagined the Port as a high-technology hub to complement its traditional tenants in the manufacturing, logistics, aviation, and defense sectors.

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