President Trump's inflammatory warnings to North Korea appear to have unsettled the stock market as fears of nuclear war likely triggered a global sell-off this week. But far away from Wall Street, the looming threat of the apocalypse is good business.
Larry Hall, the project manager and owner of the Survival Condo Project, is one of the few who's benefiting in the wake of tension between the U.S. and North Korea. The Project comprises of two underground silos equipped with nine-foot thick blast doors, diesel generators, a movie theater, indoor swimming pool and luxury condos in a complex somewhere around Salinas, Kansas. The exact location can't be revealed due to "security reasons."
"The North Korea situation got us a 40% spike in inquires," Hall said. On a monthly basis, he estimates the condos get about 300 inquires total. Over the past 10 days, he received roughly 200, he noted. "Ever since I started building the bunkers I've noticed that any time there's a natural disaster that a bunch of people are worried about, we get a whole bunch of calls — the 2012 Mayan [calendar] thing, the Fukushima tsunami in Japan, major earthquakes, when Trump got elected."
Hall purchased the first of the abandoned silos in 2008 and converted them into fifteen-floor, nuclear bomb-resistant apartment complex by 2012. Every unit in the first silo was sold with the exception of one, he told the New Yorker in January, and that success has led to the development of a new condo, which is a little over halfway completed, he said. It could house up to 28 units depending if they sell full, half or penthouse apartments.
"We thought it would take another year to sell it out by September, and we still have units available, but roughly 60% has sold out already," he said.
Because of the luxury amenities and advertised $3 million sales price, the Survival Condos attract affluent guests. "These are people you’d see on the Forbes list as the richest people in America," Hall said. "There’s famous people that are definitely recognizable."
But the fortified homes aren't just for dire situations like war with North Korea, he said. "We didn’t build this project for doomsday. We built if for Superstorm Sandy. 9.0 earthquakes. Economic collapse. Food shortages. It's all stuff that can happen any time of the year, the whole range of the bell curve," he explained.
"The time to get a bunker is when you don’t need it," Bell added. "You can't just wait for a catastrophe happen."