The owners of a house made to withstand an atom bomb attack have picked the right time to put it on the market. As coronavirus rates surge across the U.S., those with extra money are looking for places where they can hide out from the world.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, a house built during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s has hit the market in Los Angeles for $29.995 million. Its most distinguishing feature? An underground shelter accessed only by diving into a pool.
At 2.2 acres and 18,000 square feet, the property looms large. It has 10 bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a second guest house in the English Tudor style. The main property comes with a tennis court, a gym, a four-car garage and a ballroom with a stripper pole.
The house was built by Hollywood contractor Hal B. Hayes who, like most people at the time, feared a nuclear war with Russia and built in a special shelter that its residents could use in the case of such an event. To access it, people need to dive through the home’s pool and into a tunnel. While the water was supposed to decontaminate the shelter, listing agent Jason Oppenheim told the WSJ that no one has tried to access it in recent years.
Hayes built in other elements that were, at the time, considered to protect residents in the case of a nuclear war — a fluted shape meant to resist shock waves as well as a second shelter inside the home itself. With both a sitting room and a bathroom, this shelter was designed for much longer periods of hiding out than the pool one.
The house is currently owned by a liability trust tied to Cindy, Julian and Michael Omidi (who made the news a few years ago for their alleged ties to the GET THIN Lap-Band surgery scheme) — although it was, in the early 2006, once inhabited by the late pop singer Prince. Prince rented the home from former NBA player Charles Boozer who, in 2006, sued the singer for allegedly redecorating the home in his signature purple colors and monogram “Prince” symbols.
Oppenheim, Mary Fitzgerald and Peter Cornell of the Oppenheim Group as well as Brian Stace from Pinnacle Estate Properties represent the property.