The plan calls for a $2-billion combined green-technology business park and regional airport project near Austin. As I reported, the plan is supported by a "generous tax rebate. . . aimed at attracting international anchor tenants and designed to demonstrate the best way to build a commercial development based on green principles."
In my local daily paper yesterday, the Austin American-Statesman covers the story with more local detail in a front-page story, "As Bastrop Transforms, Ambitious Plans Arise." The Statesman story questions the plan's ability to come to fruition, but fittingly points to the idea of the development as a sign of the rural county's swift transformation in recent years into a suburban development whose population has spiked tremendously.
The plan, if it finds the right economic support, would mean some 3,000 construction-related jobs. And its developers say that site work could begin before year's end.
But local opposition and lack of support remain a hurdle for the envisioned campus, which already has four global tenants including Toshiba.
Opponents are concerned about noise, among other things. One environmentalist told the paper, "They think they're going to get one over on us country hicks. . . We have smart people out here."
Another opponent, Rocky Palmquist [R], who happens to be the opponent in today's election against the incumbant for the county's precinct commissioner, told the paper the proposal will "turn out to be a land scam" and added that there is "nothing green about putting a tarmac in the river basin."
What do folks out there think? Is the Central Texas Eco-MergeGreen Bussiness Park a vision with legs? Is growth inevitable? Do opponents have real reason for concern? Do the developers have a plan with goals too lofty for a real take off?