If you’ve got $380,000 on your hands and you’re looking for an unsual home, Zillow has just the thing — an abandoned Atlas F missile silo in Abilene, Kansas. It’s going to take a little work, since there’s water inside it that looks like it’s been there for quite some time, and there’s a lot of rust. But it’s got about 7,000 square feet of space, according to the listing — although only about 1,200 of that would be any good for things like bedrooms. It currently has zero bedrooms and one bathroom. Here’s what the entrance looks like:
If you want an idea of what your missile silo pad might look like if you fixed it up, look no further than this Wired piece from 2009 about a guy who did exactly that with a different Atlas F silo — which is also in Abilene, but the Abilene that’s in Texas, not the Abilene that’s in Kansas.
Bruce Townsley was up late one night in the mid-’80s when he saw an unusual guest take a seat on Johnny’s set: a nuclear missile base real estate mogul named Ed Peden. Peden lives in an abandoned missile base in Kansas and was invited on the show to tell Johnny all about his underground lifestyle. Townsley was hooked.
Using the pre-Google research librarians at the public library outside of Chicago where he then lived, Townsley tracked Peden down. And though it wasn’t until 1997 that Townsley secured his current property, the idea blossomed in his head over the years. After completing his fair share of conventional home remodels in the Chicago area, Townsley wanted a challenge to keep him busy for the rest of his life. So far, his silo property has perfectly fit the bill.
Other Atlas missile silos have been turned into even more interesting things, including an LSD production facility, a scuba-diving training facility, and a research facility for exploring the colonization of Mars, partially funded by William Shatner. But the ultimate reno of a missile silo has to be this one, which is also in Kansas, just north of Wichita. It’s been turned into a luxury doomsday complex called Survival Condos, where a single-floor unit with everything goes for about $3 million.
The site says that includes “mandatory training” — on the indoor shooting range, no doubt — as well as “a three-year per person food supply, fully furnished and custom designed interior, special equipment for registered members, computer access to condo systems, and much more.” The silo has a swimming pool, climbing wall, full gym facilities, hydronponic gardens, and a built-in food store for residents. There are no windows, but each suite has electronic displays that look like windows, which the site says “simulates Life-Like outdoor views complete with varying light levels that reflect time of day.”
Owner Larry Hall is an ex-government contractor, property developer and doomsday prepper, with a master’s degree in business, who worked for a private defence contractor, designing the weapons database for an air force surveillance plane, and later moved into constructing hardened data centres. He bought the silo in 2008 for $300,000 and spent two years and $20 million transforming the 60 metre-deep building into a 15-storey luxury bunker for the wealthy. Units have reportedly been bought by Tyler Allen, a real estate developer from Florida, and Nik Halik, an Australian entrepreneur who has flown on a civilian mission into outer space and dived to the wreck of the RMS Titanic.