As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, people are beginning to consider what their near future may look like and where they might be living.
For some of the wealthy, they may already have the answer to that question: the “Survival Condos,” a former Atlas nuclear missile silo redesigned into a luxury condo complex in Kansas, Vice reported.
The condos, designed to sustain 75 people for more than five years, are available to buy starting at $1.5 million, according to their website, which has reportedly piqued the interest of many since the virus has been declared a pandemic.
“I’m saving lives,” Larry Hall, the developer and owner of Survival Condos, told the New York Times in August, prior to the worldwide emergency, in a story titled “A Boom Time for the Bunker Business and Doomsday Capitalists.”
Bigger units may cost anywhere from a minimum of $3 million to $4.5 million and can range from 50,000 to 300,000 square feet, according to their website. The option of customizing an entire silo complex for a single buyer is also available at an additional price.
“We believe that given the present worldwide economic conditions, historical disaster evidence, and the obvious signs of global climate changes; that it is prudent to have a ‘disaster plan and shelter’ in place should a need for it occur,” Larry Hall, the developer and owner of Survival Condos, wrote on the website.
“Our designs include planning for: physical protection, psychological design considerations, advanced technology, and the concept of an extended family with diverse backgrounds,” Hall continued.
The structure was initially built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s amid the Cold War era to “withstand a nuclear explosion,” according to the website.
At the time, only 72 Atlas “F” missile bases were built, but even though they were eventually abandoned, they are still considered to be “one of the strongest structures built by man” today, the company said.
In 2008, Hall teamed up with the state of Kansas and discovered that the silos could be a livable space, and has been working on cleaning them out and renovating them ever since then, according to Vice.
“Our facility has undergone years of cleanup and monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency and has been granted a ‘clean bill of health’,” Hall stated on his website. “The facility has had all the missile infrastructure removed and we are now down to the clean shell.”
The new design includes a monolithic dome on top of the missile silo, which has the ability to withstand winds up to 500 mph — a number that is nearly double the winds that the most powerful F5 tornadoes could produce at 300 mph, the site states.
A special type of concrete with an epoxy additive was also used in the design to make the walls in the large condo between 2½ to 9 ft. thick for added strength, according to the company.
“There are two underground structures, one two-story and one fourteen-story structure,” the website reads. “Together there is just over 54,000 square feet of underground, nuclear-hardened, protected space.”
When it comes to units, there are four options: a Half-Floor layout (900 square feet), designed to accommodate three to five people, a Full-Floor layout (1,820 square feet), designed for six to 10 people, the penthouse, and the customizable option.
Each condo is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, stainless steel appliances, and access to facilities, including an indoor pool and spa, gym, library, classroom, medical center, and digital weather station.
In addition, the facility has an air supply filtered with nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) filters, a three-source water supply and reservoir system with purification abilities, and a military-grade security system.
All units also come with a five-year supply of freeze-dried and dehydrated survival food per person, a washer-dryer, “virtual windows” that show a video of the current outdoor world, and come fully furnished and professionally decorated, according to the website.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Hall told Vice that sales on his underground condos were slow, due to the lack of interest and high price.
But now, things are beginning to change, with Hall explaining that one person purchased a unit four days after only seeing it online and others are quickly following suit.
He also noted that his second Survival Condo, which is reportedly located at an undisclosed Atlas silo site in Kansas and is expected to be even larger, is already sold out.
“We’ve never had this many people schedule site tours in such a short period of time,” Hall told Vice. “There are a record number of requests to tour the facility. It’s unprecedented and we’ve noticed a sense of urgency and a seriousness that wasn’t there before.”
“The mission is to protect residents from a whole wide range of threats,” Hall added of his facilities. “Everything from viral or bacterial threats and chemicals to volcanic ash, meteors, solar flares, and civil unrest.”
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