AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) — It took the richest man in the world coming to southeast Travis County to draw widespread attention to the lack of commercial development and infrastructure in the underserved area on the edge of urban Austin.

It’s not that the area out past Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is completely devoid of development. Hundreds of homes are rising and millions of dollars are being invested in new spaces for businesses. Schools are being built and roads are being extended and enlarged.

But Elon Musk putting Tesla Inc.’s billion-dollar electric vehicle plant off the State Highway 130 toll road — now designated the company’s headquarters — cast a spotlight on retail, transportation and health care needs.

“When Tesla had their big opening party, the school district had to close early to accommodate for the traffic and congestion,” said Austin City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, who represents District 2. “To me, that is another indicator that, as our community grows, we ensure that sufficient and necessary investment in our infrastructure is corresponding to that growth.”

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