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Hot property: a spacious missile base as your new home
Hot property: a spacious missile base as your new homeSep 24 03:26 AM US/Eastern
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Looking for a new home with a bit more space as well as a 1950s Cold War ambiance?
A US intercontinental ballistic missile base, equipped with a vast underground network of tunnels and rooms but no atomic warheads, is for sale in a remote corner of the United States.
The warheads and missiles went when the US government abandoned the Titan bases in the 1970s.
Located near remote Moses Lake in the northwest state of Washington, the former Larsen military base includes 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet) of "usable" space on 23 hectares (56 acres) of land, and the owner is only asking for 1.5 million dollars -- which might buy a small home in Hollywood.
The seller, Bari Hotchkiss, sees the base as a "gorgeous" property and potential resort. He has put it up for sale on the eBay auction site.
"We used to use it as a summer camp, for our kids and their friends," he told AFP.
"The only limit is imagination. We've always wanted to see it turn into summer camp or resort camp," he said.
The Los Angeles investor bought the former base 10 years ago from owners who had purchased the property in the 1970s, when the US government concluded the Titan missiles had become obsolete.
Hotchkiss said there are 18 former Titan bases and nearly all of them were sold off, but -- sounding like most proud property owners -- he said his base is in excellent condition.
"Most of those former bases are much much smaller, and most all of them have water problems with water leaking in them. So they're filled with water or so wet there is terrible rust, and ours is dry, and portions of our missile base look like it's built last year," he said.
"It is kind of like a big shopping center underground that needs to be refurbished," he said.
To use the entire underground network, he said several million dollars worth of remodeling would be required. But a cheaper option was also possible.
"If you only need one or a couple of the buildings to begin with, several hundred thousand dollars might do it," he said.
The ailing housing market in the United States might slow down the sale, Hotchkiss admitted. But he said he's patient.
"There is plenty of time. No rush. And the base is really reasonable priced."
There is competition, however.
The website missilebases.com offers up a similar underground base for Titan missiles outside of Denver, Colorado, touted as a "very rare piece of history" with a mountain views and only 20 minutes from the local airport. All this for the asking price of 1.8 million dollars, in cash. According to the website, this base is "the ultimate home" offering "the utmost security," while providing a chance for the buyer to enjoy "your own underground city." The website offers other bases for sale, which it calls the "castles of the 20th century." Designed to withstand nuclear attack, these unique properties "bring new meaning to the word 'shelter.'"
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