Cost, Features – The Hollywood Reporter


On the heels of Sam Esmail’s apocalyptic thriller Leave the World Behind and December information studies that Mark Zuckerberg is constructing a 5,000-square-foot bunker underneath his ranch on the island of Kauai, the enterprise of fortified shelters is booming.

Including extra gasoline to the flames: escalating armed battle across the globe and, nearer to house, the continued onslaught of mass shootings and an more and more fractious political panorama main as much as the presidential election on Nov. 5.

The one-percenters who can afford to drag out all of the stops for self-preservation are doing so greater than ever — typically in a trend that goes approach past the submerged corrugated steel items seen on actuality exhibits like Nat Geo’s Doomsday Preppers.

Aiming to guard themselves from potential threats together with civil unrest, cyberattacks, nuclear bombing, energy grid failure and drastic climate-change occasions, many work immediately with basic contractors to construct kitted-out end-times bunkers, whereas others name on a handful of specialised firms.

“It bought actually busy, and it looks like the telephone hasn’t stopped ringing; World Struggle III looks like it’s coming,” shares Ron Hubbard, CEO of Texas-based Atlas Survival Shelters, who notes that the information about Zuckerberg’s bunker “brought about a shopping for frenzy.” He’s at the moment developing a $7.5 million bunker for a consumer in Oklahoma that’s within the design part.

An escape tunnel designed by SAFE.

SAFE

Robert Vicino, founding father of Del Mar, California-based Vivos, which creates underground survival shelters, agrees: “Now that Zuckerberg has let the cat out of the bag, that’s bought different individuals who share his standing or are close to his standing beginning to assume, ‘Oh God, if he’s doing that, possibly he is aware of one thing that I don’t, possibly I ought to search this out myself.’ However it’s no secret that the one-percenters and top-ranking authorities officers have been in on this bunker thought for a long-ass time. The pandemic was an enormous driver of curiosity in gross sales; then all the worldwide considerations and points at house are one other enhance. We’re right here to offer peace-of-mind options.”

Al Corbi, president and founding father of Virginia-based SAFE (Strategically Armored & Fortified Environments), which caters to customized designs for the uber-rich, notes that many billionaires are significantly targeted on the best way to survive energy grid failures, together with shopping for vehicles and planes which are much less reliant on pc interfaces. “Loads of these guys are shopping for up King Air or older planes that don’t have the digital avionics, and conserving one or two older vehicles constructed earlier than 1986 of their assortment, so that they’ll nonetheless operate in an EMP [electromagnetic pulse]. The novelty is it’s shifting from the concept of nuclear ka-boom to safety towards native threats. The true menace is the ability grid, which is satirically the plot of Leave The World Behind. In conditions like this, sustaining your life is as essential as meals and water.”

The typical shelter that Hubbard sells “each day” — consisting of a prefab modular metal bunker — is within the $200,000 to $400,000 vary (“It’s like shopping for a Ferrari,” he says) and 50 % of Atlas Survival Shelters shoppers are ladies. (Hubbard appeared on an episode of the ultimate season of Conserving Up With The Kardashians in 2021 by which Kim and Khloé Kardashian examined out certainly one of his 500-square-foot, $200,000 bunkers.)

A 400-square-foot Platinum Collection modular metal bunker from Atlas Survival Shelters.

Atlas Survival Shelters

Because of international demand, bunker air filtration programs (which run $3,000-$10,000) have gotten scarce, says Hubbard, so he purchased up 711 of them in December (greater than he has bought previously 13 years mixed) to maintain up with rising clamor. He says that the corporate is at the moment working with two billionaire clients within the U.S., “each associated to Fb,” however their bunkers cap out beneath $500,000.

On the highest finish, “I hear there are a few large bunkers being in-built the USA within the $5 to $10 million vary,” provides Hubbard, who’s at the moment developing a $5 million bunker for a consumer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that may even home his automotive assortment.

Corbi — who labored on the palatial 27-floor, $4.8 billion Mumbai residence of enterprise mogul Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries — reveals to THR that his most spectacular mission, as a result of be accomplished in 2025, is an island fortress created on a 200-acre property within the U.S., with cutting-edge tactical programs. 

“The shelter can face up to a blast one mile from floor zero,” says Corbi. “However that was nearly incidental. The consumer [a business mogul] was saying, ‘I wish to ensure that nobody can get to my household,’ so we wound up actually constructing a 30-foot-deep lake [around the compound] skimmed with a lighter-than-water flammable liquid that may rework into a hoop of fireplace. The one entry to the island is a swing bridge.”

Additionally at Corbi’s mission, “there are water cannons that may take down parachuters, Apache helicopters, no matter’s coming your approach 500 ft within the air,” he says. “Then we took all of the dust eliminated for the lake to actually construct a mountain as pure fortification across the property. And we minimize a tunnel by way of with flame-throwers, gassing programs, a metal wall that closes halfway that might cease a 16-wheeler going 80 miles an hour, and bollards at each ends.”

A rendering of SAFE’s under-construction mission — that features a moat with a flammable liquid on the floor — depicts an imagined assault on the property.

Roger Berent Architects

The bells and whistles really can double as on a regular basis enjoyable. In accordance with Corbi, pals of the proprietor would possibly get pleasure from a flag soccer recreation on jet skis, dodging the water cannons’ means to lock in and blow them off the skis, creating “a mind-boggling grownup Nintendo recreation, a wild leisure issue,” he describes, including that the cannons may blow rainbows into the air as a backdrop to a barbecue or create rainfall on a sunny day. The positioning preparation alone price hundreds of thousands of {dollars}, “a fraction of the price of the general mission,” says Corbi, who sees a development of shoppers with current bunkers requesting add-on tactical protection elements to the tune of about 1,000,000 {dollars} to improve.

The subsequent-level query turns into the place to go if one thing one way or the other occurs to the first shelter. Elaborate tunnels programs that route individuals to alternate bunkers supply a backup plan, plus “all forms of extraction units and programs, however that basically isn’t one thing I can speak about; let’s simply say, on all of the super-yachts, there are helicopters and submarines,” says Corbi.

Fueled by the pandemic and shoppers with current medical circumstances, SAFE has partnered with Virginia medical consulting firm Very important RN, based by Corbi’s spouse Naomi, a registered nurse, to supply state-of-the-art decontaminant cubicles, medical provides and rooms with full working tables in bunkers.

A medical room designed by SAFE.

SAFE

“We put in one on Lengthy Island, and you’re feeling like you might be within the best-equipped Cedars-Sinai or Cleveland Clinic working room!” says Corbi. “You possibly can have each drug conceivable that you may probably want locked in cupboards that may solely be opened remotely by a doctor, so it’s all throughout the confines of the regulation.”

In terms of secret passageways and hidden doorways, many flip to Arizona-based Artistic House Engineering, the place a door can price greater than $50,000 a pop. “I’m wrapping a mission for a consumer within the Phoenix space that features 9 secret doorways that didn’t spare any expense,” says Artistic House Engineering president Steve Humble. “He has an underground capturing vary accessed by this huge fire that rotates just like the one in Indiana Jones and the Final Crusade. Then there’s an enormous staircase that raises as much as reveal an enormous basement, the place a car elevator goes all the way down to the storage. We additionally put in a British telephone sales space. Whenever you dial 867-5309 on the receiver, the music performs and the glass turns opaque so that you disappear; then the again wall opens up and there’s really a slide that takes you two ranges down the place there’s a flight simulator, and a sensor causes the again panel of the sales space to return and the glass goes clear, so no one can perceive how you bought out of there. The home additionally occurs to have an enormous shark tank within the basement that shares one wall with the swimming pool, so it appears like you might be swimming with sharks. And the pool is extra like a water park, with a circulation river, a lazy river, a grotto and a glass backside, so you possibly can see a go-cart observe beneath the pool. This man’s bought all of the toys! He has a secure room and we did one secret door that’s solely for safety, however the remainder is generally only for exhibiting off.”

A rotating fire results in an underground bunker, designed by Artistic House Engineering.

Creatie House Engineering

But Humble says that almost all of his roughly 100 present customized and normal tasks are targeted on safety. “In cities like L.A., the homeless-slash-crime epidemic getting uncontrolled appears to be a recurring theme currently, so persons are getting severe about safety,” he says. “I’ve a mission in Colorado with 9 ballistic, armored pocket doorways, as a result of they want to have the ability to lock down the home at any time. I’m additionally doing safety vault doorways for a number of well-known individuals.” (Notably, violent crime in Los Angeles declined by double-digit percentages in 2023 in comparison with the earlier 12 months.)

In January, Creative Home Engineering launched a brand new off-the-shelf Vault Mirror Secret Door, that seems to be a full-length mirror, for simply $6,000. “That’s about the identical value as an everyday vault door, however this one has camouflage,” he says. “Loads of well-known individuals make the error of getting a secure, which  is sort of like having a neon check in your own home that claims, ‘That is the place I preserve my valuables.’ So individuals break in and know the place to focus their efforts, utilizing fundamental instruments like a crowbar. Till now, if you happen to wished a secret door that was additionally a bulletproof vault door for pressured entry safety, it was a customized job that price about $20,000, so that is an thrilling growth.”

The Vault Mirror Secret Door by Artistic House Engineering.

Artistic House Engineering

One other consumer known as on Artistic House Engineering to construct “an underground museum in his basement involving a number of secret doorways to entry the room and inside sanctum,” says Humble, to securely retailer a set of extraordinarily uncommon playing cards (value about $250,000 every), with the designs on the playing cards ornately carved  within the show cabinetry.

Mike Peters, proprietor of Utah-based Ultimate Bunker (which additionally does enterprise in Nevada and California) has discovered a distinct segment in secure rooms that begin at round $50,000 for an 8-foot by 8-foot house with an extra $30,000 for each window. The secure rooms’ electrical and bulletproof doorways open with a key fob or a fingerprint. “Lots of people in Hollywood have had their houses damaged into, so that they want someplace to go in the course of the night time proper by their bed room or to place their complete bed room on lockdown,” says Peters, noting that his bunker enterprise can be booked out for properly over a 12 months.  “We are able to fortify any room, and we’ve bought individuals who need to have the ability to pull their automotive within the storage and run inside and have peace of thoughts, if someone is on their tail.”

Within the safety enterprise, privateness is paramount, however there are at all times exceptions.

“In 50 years, we’ve by no means had a consumer harmed or their possessions compromised, so we decide our shoppers as a lot as they decide us,” says Corbi. “I used to be known as for an preliminary session with the builder who was engaged on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s home again after they have been collectively, and I did a danger evaluation of the property. In the event you may have seen what their builder was constructing — it was so unhealthy that I needed to flip the job down. I’m not exaggerating. The place the roof comes down and touches the ground, he constructed a wall alongside that, so that they needed to get down on their fingers and knees and crawl the entire size of it and bounce nearly a narrative down into the garden and run over to the neighbor’s home. You would need to have been a rat on adrenaline for that factor to work!”

A decontamination room designed by SAFE.

SAFE


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