Small town Hutto may be in for a big city change. Luxury electric car manufacturer Tesla appears to be eyeing the home of the hippos for its proposed battery factory.
Rumors fly around a small town just about as fast as Sean Smith can churn out a Downtown Hall of Fame margarita.
"I think it's incredible," Smith said.
The latest exciting whisperings involve this field in the Hutto extraterritorial jurisdiction. It's being considered as a possible home to a manufacturing facility so huge, it's called a gigafactory.
"Hutto's gonna be the next Round Rock I feel," said Smith.
Luxury electric car manufacturer Tesla is looking to build up to a 10 million square foot facility on 500 to 1,000 acres to make batteries. The site would employ 6,500.The average pay is said to be $46,000.
"Instead of a rabbit's foot, we're rubbing a Hutto Hippo for good luck," joked Chamber of Commerce President Tom Britton.
Hutto Chamber of Commerce President Tom Britton won't confirm it's Tesla he's wishing for. He will say Hutto is one of three finalists for a large manufacturing plant that would employ 65-hundred. Sound familiar?
"It would be the equivalent of Dell moving to Round Rock. It changed Round Rock forever," Britton said.
Britton says the draw to Hutto is the wide open space.
"Up here we've got a lot of elbow room. We have room to build a large manufacturing plant with a rail spur. We were surprised by how cooperative and quickly cooperative Southern Pacific was in working with our rail spur," said Britton.
Incentives are being worked out to further lure the mystery company.
"First we've got to get past the first hurdle, are they coming to Hutto. If so we've got to get busy ordering red carpet 'cause we're gonna roll it out for them," Britton said.
By the year 2020, Tesla projects it will produce half a million batteries per year. The company is expected to make a final decision by the end of the month.
Read more about the project: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/gigafactory.