Electric automaker Tesla will officially build its next manufacturing plant in Travis County in an area just east of the city of Austin, bringing with it at least 5,000 new jobs. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the decision to develop its next “gigafactory” in Travis County in a July 22 earnings call following months of deliberations between the company, Travis County and Del Valle ISD over economic incentives that would help bring the company to Texas. Tesla anticipates construction to begin in the third quarter of 2020, with initial operations at the Travis County gigafactory beginning as soon as the fourth quarter of 2021. Already, Tesla has taken steps to charge forward with the site, seeking its first development variances from the county July 21, which was regarding construction on roads leading to and from the gigafactory site along SH-130 just north of W. Hwy. 71. “We’re going to make it a factory that is going to be stunning,” Musk said. “It’s right on the Colorado River, so we’re actually going to have a boardwalk where there will be a hiking/biking trail. It’s going to basically be an ecological paradise—birds in the trees, butterflies, fish in the stream—and it will be open to the public as well.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed Musk’s announcement with a statement praising Tesla as “one of the most exciting and innovative companies in the world.” Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.