Mayor Curry and CFO Patronis market Jacksonville to Elon Musk for future business

Musk hasn’t announced plans of expanding to the River City

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis have called on Elon Musk to bring his business ventures to the River City.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer have called on Elon Musk to bring his business ventures to the River City.

Curry joined Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis in a shared video posted to Twitter. The two say they want to give Musk a tour of Jacksonville in hopes he brings one of his three businesses to town.

This is not the first time Curry has tried to court Musk. In April, Curry tried to entice the billionaire to relocate Twitter headquarters to Jacksonville.

Musk, who is the richest man in the world, hasn’t announced any plans to expand to Jacksonville. But he is one of several CEOs to show their public displeasure with the state of California’s economy. Musk’s tech empire includes SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company.

Last year, Musk announced he was moving Tesla’s headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas. When the move was made, it brought thousands of jobs to the city. It also offered millions of dollars in tax incentives.

It’s not just Jacksonville City Hall making these types of overtures. Other cities in places like Texas and Tennessee have been trying to lure Musk’s business interests to their cities, arguing they may be more tax-friendly environments with large workforces.

SpaceX is based in Hawthorne, California, but the company has a big presence on Florida’s Space Coast with rocket launches happening on a regular basis.

Curry said he thinks Cecil Airport could accommodate SpaceX, and he is working to get in touch with Musk. He’s got a plan if Musk responds.

“Set up a phone call. Or a Zoom. Just like my days in business, and I’ll tell you, I know some people that may have access to Elon and we’re trying to work some back channels to make sure he sees the Tweet,” Curry said.

There's a push to bring one of billionaire Elon Musk's companies to Jacksonville. Musk is the richest man in the world, and the possibility of his coming here could mean big things for Jacksonville.

The Boring Company has made plans to build underground tunnels in Miami to help relieve traffic congestion. Musk mentioned the project would cost roughly $668 million. Fort Lauderdale is also considering a similar tunnel project.

Musk hasn’t responded to the video message from Curry and Patronis. He did make headlines Wednesday, suggesting he’d vote for Gov. Ron DeSantis for president in 2024. DeSantis has yet to announce if he is running in 2024.

Dwann Holmes, a social media expert, said Curry and Patronis know linking themselves in a tweet with a man who has nearly 100 million Twitter followers is easy pres, but they also likely are not just trying to get Musk’s attention.

“It’s not just getting his attention. Your best bet may be getting the attention of his friends, his employees, his colleagues. Those people who he appreciates. Because those are the people he relies on a lot to come bring him information,” Holmes said. “So yeah, we’re tagging Elon Musk, but the other thing -- but why not build a strategic campaign about Jacksonville, the people of Jacksonville and why he would not benefit from having a company here?”


About the Authors:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.