By Steve Hartman
The middle of Kansas is the middle of nowhere – and yet at the end of a long dirt road here, a Denver based developer named Larry Hall has chosen to build a $2 million per-unit condominium complex.
CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports the project is unique, not even so much for where it is — as what it is.
“We’ve actually taken a weapon of mass destruction — which was a nuclear missile silo — and made it into a complete, 180-degree opposite,” Larry Hall said.
Built right into the underground silo, when finished, it’ll be the only condominium in the world capable of withstanding a direct nuclear attack. It’ll also be completely self-sustaining – mimicking life on the outside as closely as possible.
There will also be electronic windows that track your movement – and change perspective accordingly. You can be in San Francisco – space, or whatever you choose. Plans call for seven such residences – one of which Larry bought himself. In fact, he’s already dumped his entire life savings into this hole.
Why? Hall’s concerned about the possible disasters like: terrorists, dirty bombs, or a meteor strike. His world view is shrouded with dark clouds.
“See this part of you is a kind of a bummer,” Hartman said. “Yeah, it is, the reality of it,” said Hall. “Not the reality of it! We don’t know if it’s the reality,” countered Hartman.
“It’s not if they’re going to happen, it’s when they’re going to happen. You’re just saying to yourself in my lifespan, those things aren’t going to happen?” insisted Hall.
“That’s what I’m betting on,” Hartman said. “And I’m betting if they do, you’ll let me in.” “That’s probably not a good bet.”
We could argue all day whether a cataclysmic quake or meteor collision is imminent – but one thing is for sure, sales figures here are not earth-shattering. Over the last couple of years, Hall’s been able to sell just two of the six available units – which is why he’s now broadened his sales pitch.
“If you want to retire and you don’t want your electricity bill to go up and you don’t want your food bill to go up and you don’t want to worry about insurance – have we got a place for you.”
Of course, it won’t really be that simple – getting retirees to buy into the notion of home sweet missile silo. But Hall is uncharacteristically optimistic on this note – and confident that even if the world doesn’t end – it’s not the end of the world.
“I’ve got a warm fuzzy feeling that things are going to work out well.” “But you don’t mean for the world, you mean for this project,” Hartman said. “Yeah, I mean for the project.”