Recently, Tyler Allen, an Orlando, Florida-based sports bar and nightclub owner, handed over $3 million in cash for a luxury condo near Concordia, Kansas; it wasn’t the indoor swimming pool, hydroponic vegetable garden or 17-seat movie theater that impressed and attracted him.
The main selling point, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, was not the 1,820-square-foot apartment at all, in fact. It was the underground, decommissioned missile silo buried 174 feet below — a silo capable of withstanding even a nuclear attack.
Like so many who are concerned about the direction and future of the country feel obliged to do when the media comes calling, Allen insisted to the WSJ that, hey, he’s no crazy conspiracy nut or “tinfoil hat-wearing” type. Rather, he says, he is concerned about growing security threats like a global health pandemic, cataclysmic weather and terrorist attacks.
“There’s a Camp David for the president,” he told the paper. “If you’re at a certain level where you can afford it, you can get that, too.”
His “Survival Condo” complex comes complete with full and half-floor units that cost between $1.5 million and $3 million apiece. Each building can accommodate 75 people; buyers include physicians, entrepreneurs and scientists, according to developer Larry Hall. In all, the condo complex is 15 stories — underground.
Hall, who lives in a suburb of Denver, says he purchased his first missile-silo site in Kansas in 2008 and finished construction in December 2012. A year later, he told the paper, the unit had completely sold out.
Now, he has begun construction of a second security complex — where Allen bought his unit — and he is considering even more sites, in Texas and elsewhere.
WSJ further reported:
As former nuclear missile sites built under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers, the structures were originally designed to withstand a direct hit by a nuclear bomb. At ground level, they can be sealed up by two armored doors weighing 16,000 pounds each. Mr. Hall added sophisticated water and air-treatment facilities, state-of-the-art computer network technology and several alternate power generation capabilities.
Such hide-aways are becoming more popular, especially among more affluent Americans, and follow a trend that began after the 9/11 attacks. In addition, the Great Recession of 2007-2008 coupled with the Ebola scare and the rise of the Islamic State have all fed into simmering concerns. Some, no doubt, also are worried about the state of civil society in the United States.
‘She won’t go in there – for now‘
Hall’s company claims that the condos give residents the chance to live an uninterrupted life of luxury underground. Besides standard perks like a spa, dog park and fitness and medical facilities, the complexes come with enough emergency food to last up to five years. Furthering security, the condos also feature a holding cell for unruly tenants.
Each individual unit comes with 9-foot ceilings, and lighting mimics natural sunlight as much as it can. There are no windows, of course, but there are video screens that portray a resident’s choice of scenery — everything from landscapes to city skylines.
Not everyone wants to make it public that they have purchased one of the uber-bunkers, like Allen has done. WSJ reported that one executive on a tobacco-product firm in Connecticut who requested anonymity said he paid $12 million in cash for four entire floors in the first condo-silo complex, which was enough room for his large family and a number of close friends.
He said he hired a decorator and installed fireplaces in all four full floors, as well as antique furniture and more “windows” than the spaces initially came with.
“I look at is as a life insurance policy,” he told WSJ, adding that he’ll only use the condo in extreme emergencies. He went on to say that his wife “hates the idea” and won’t even set foot in the condo. But he added that was just “for now.”
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