SpaceX is preparing to start construction on a new $15 million restaurant and shopping center near its Starbase facility in South Texas, a move that marks a significant diversification from its core space ventures. The project, named “RioWest,” is aimed at serving the local community and visitors drawn to the area by SpaceX’s activities.
Located in Brownsville, Texas, RioWest will encompass a restaurant and a retail space, according to filings with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR). The restaurant, with estimated to cost of $6.144 million, will boast a 3,500-square-foot indoor dining area, complemented by a 930-square-foot deck offering views of the Rio Grande River.
An additional 2,500 square feet will be dedicated to back-of-house operations, ensuring a seamless dining experience. The location at 50520 Rio Grande Drive positions the restaurant as an attractive destination for both locals and tourists.
Adjacent to the restaurant, the retail space at RioWest will span 11,200 square feet. With a budget of nearly $9 million, this area will house a grocery store, various retail shops, and a café. Located at 40998 Quick Silver Ave., it will include on-site improvements such as landscaping and a staff parking lot. The design firm WRNS Studio, known for its work with tech giants like Google and Airbnb, is behind the design of both the restaurant and the retail space. (via MySA)
This venture into retail and dining isn’t SpaceX’s first foray outside of aerospace. CEO Elon Musk has previously dabbled in similar ventures, with the opening of the “Boring Bodega” in Bastrop, Texas.
Construction of the RioWest project is set to begin on March 15, 2024, with a projected completion date of December 31, 2024