SpaceX has made offers to purchase every property of a small village located near the company’s Boca Chica Starship development facility in Texas. The company is offering each homeowner three times the fair market value for their properties.
Details around the offers to purchase the Boca Chica Village properties were first reported by Busines Insider, which obtained a copy of the cover letter sent with each offer. The letter described the company’s realisation that work at the Starship development facility would have a far bigger impact on the Boca Chica Village residents than first anticipated.
“When SpaceX first identified Cameron County as a potential spaceport location, we did not anticipate that local residents would experience significant disruption from our presence,” stated the letter. “However, it has become clear that expansion of spaceflight activities as well as compliance with Federal Aviation Administration and other public safety regulations will make it increasingly more challenging to minimize disruption to residents of the Village.”
SpaceX has offered each of the 20 or so elderly residents of the Boca Chica Village “three times the independently appraised fair market value.” The offer has a deadline of just two weeks but includes several stipulations to mitigate any issues arising from the proposed timelines. This includes rent-free access for “an agreeable period” and even continued front row seats to the Starship rocket’s development through “VIP launch viewing events that are unavailable to the public.”
Despite the letters sent to each resident being printed on the SpaceX letterhead, the purchases are being managed by the commercial real estate company JLL. In addition to managing the purchases, JLL is also responsible for evaluating each property’s fair market value. Although not uncommon with these kinds of purchases, the combination is unlikely to engender much trust in the process.