SpaceX extends Boca Chica purchase deadline, will do new appraisals


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SpaceX has agreed to do new appraisals on the private homesites in Boca Chica that it wishes to purchase, while also agreeing to extend the deadline for owners to accept their offer.

It appears that Musk invited the owners to his Starship presentation on September 28, and then met with some of them afterward to discuss the situation face to face.

Musk met with seven villagers following the presentation, though others … gave up waiting for him to show.

Cheryl Stevens, who owns a house down the street from the Heatons, did stick around. The meeting was “sort of testy” at first, as the owners confronted Musk with their concerns after waiting a long time, though the mood eventually lightened, she said. “We all had things we wanted to say,” Stevens said. “He was good about listening to what we said, then referring to what we said. … I left there feeling OK. Overall it was fairly cordial, just testy at the beginning. At least we felt like we were heard.”

At the same time, she said, “I’m not interested in giving my house away.”

This is the kind of thing that Musk does very well. Rather than stay in his ivory tower, as most modern big corporate heads, he talks with people directly. I expect SpaceX will end up offering these people deals where they can buy homes relatively comparable to what they have now, in a similar location. This will engender good will, and good press for the company.

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6 comments

  • The article is worth reading. If Space X is going to be conducting flight operations, they should buy out the property owners.

    However.

    The property owners make Boca Chica, TX, sound like Boca Chica, Dominican Republic (I checked images from both places). As for the compensation some these folks are hinting at, and particularly for the part-time residents, methinks they doth protest too much.

  • wodun

    They should get a premium.

  • Lee S

    As I have mentioned before…. This is the bit of capitalism I can get behind!
    A private company wants to buy a private persons property…. The going sale price is whatever the house owner will accept.
    SpaceX has pretty deep pockets at this point, and to be fair…. Almost everything privately owned has its price.
    No doubt the owners with the wherewithal to hold out will make a handsome profit, and I respect them for it!
    ( It might even give them the funds to pay for their kids education and medical insurance!) ;-)

  • David

    I think there is definitely a bit of windfall greed happening here on the part of the homeowners. They were offered THREE TIMES the appraised value. Even if the appraisal is artificially low, it’s not off by THAT much. And it’s not like there are going to be any other buyers, and if you hold out long enough, the county IS going to eventually use eminent domain, it’s just not reasonable for people to be living that close to an active spaceport.

    On the flip side, nobody wants to be forced to sell, for many of them it’s probably very neat to live that close to all this activity, and you might as well try for the most you can get.

    But I won’t have much sympathy for people that are still holding out months from now.

  • Lee S

    @David… I don’t see the problem… Apart from the landowner and SpaceX…
    I remember seeing guys in the woods repeating how they would never leave Mnt St. helans. As far as I am aware, they are still buried under the pyroclastic flows.
    SpaceX can sign a contract with these guys, giving SpaceX freedom from prosecutions , and the guys living there a nice living.
    As long as a rocket pro-tyoe doesn’t land on their head! ;-)

  • pzatchok

    Maybe one or two are thinking that they can rent out RV parking for closer than NASA launch observations.

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