On Monday, Tesla held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new lithium refining plant in Robstown, which has raised questions about its impact on the local economy and housing market. As the first of its kind in Texas A&M, North America, it is difficult to accurately forecast the outcome, according to Corpus Christi economics professor Jim Lee.
He estimates that the economic impact of the plant will be more than double the 165 jobs promised by Tesla. However, concerns have been raised about where these workers will live. Tesla is looking to create opportunities for local talent, but the company’s goal to fill fewer than 200 positions is not expected to have a dramatic or immediate impact on the housing market.
Despite this, many local developers see the Tesla plant as an opportunity to build more homes in the area. Professor Lee believes that as the company expands and adds more jobs, it could attract other companies to the area and herald a potential shift towards alternative energy sources along the coast.
Only time will tell what the impact of the new plant will be, but officials have estimated that it will take approximately a year to complete construction and the company hopes to begin production in the same amount of time.