Run for your lives!
Emboldened by Wall Street’s bull market and Trump tax cut windfalls, billionaires are heading for the hills (and underground), including many climate change deniers—just in case. Much fuss was made over paranoid Silicon Valley tech billionaires buying Armageddon bunkers in New Zealand, in the event of a cataclysmic disaster, stock market crash or Armageddon.
Seems extreme no—perhaps a little Lord of the Rings-ish? Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? Extreme weather, extreme politics, extreme rhetoric equals extreme paranoia. The world is getting a little out of hand. But a few million dollars can go a long way in alleviating that fear. Now that’s an inconvenient truth.
Doomsday fear isn’t new. Remember 1970s disaster movies? No one was safe—not on land, water nor air. Jaws, The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, The Towering Inferno, The China Syndrome, City On Fire, Airport 75 and Airport 77. Meteors, nuclear meltdowns, tidal waves, avalanches, runaway buses and rollercoasters seemingly anticipated some apocalypse.
Even The Hindenburg movie scared the crap out of blimp enthusiasts. Only the classic comedy Airplane slapped us back to our senses—so we could lighten up a little. These movies were ridiculous, but fun. Today, it feels more serious (even as mojo man Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson saves us from San Andreas faults and Skyscrapers).
For millionaires not escaping to Middle Earth, there are still other options, if you purchase the right property. A new wave (get it?) of luxury homes are being built and fortified like bunkers—safe zones. Some are on the market in south Florida, land of sun, hurricanes and sea level housing (and occasional flooding). The rest of us will have to rely on Superman, Gene Hackman or “The Rock” to save us.
This 15,345-square foot mansion in Pinecrest is hurricane proof, bullet proof and can withstand a fire for up to four hours. So Scarface and Hurricane Banjo (the inevitable first millennial hurricane) can move on—there’s little shot of success here. Next.
Listed for $5.85 million, the swanky luxury shelter is fortified with nearly indestructible ICF construction, which is a unique composition of insulation, concrete and foam. The seven-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bathroom protected pad features a walk-in wine cellar, spa-like bath, Armani-designed guest cottage, heated infinity pool, summer kitchen and a driveway and motor court massive enough for all 50 of your cars (forgive the humble four-car garage).
It offers double height ceilings and Italian finishes throughout the house, including a a $200,000 Dada-designed kitchen and massive $80,000 Molteni & C bathroom closet. Michael Martinez, vice president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, has the listing.
Secret Panic Elevator
Palmetto Bay, Florida
People tend to panic on elevators for strange reasons—safety, claustrophobia, getting stuck between floors, door closing on you, button not lighting up, etc. So a doomsday scenario is way down on the list. Now a Miami-area home comes to market with a panic room in the elevator. No joke. If you’re in a life-threatening situation, why not panic there?
Listed for $4.3 million on 39,204-square-foot lot in Palmetto Bay, the contemporary home includes a smart phone-controlled elevator with a stainless steel door hidden behind a natural wood door. The air-conditioned lift includes a dedicated phone line and dial pad for emergency phone calls. Integrated with the Savant Home Automation system, the elevator can be controlled in-home or remotely via iPads and or iPhone app.
Secured within a concrete shaft, the elevator also doubles as panic defense against intruders since the owner can manually stop the lift between floors—preventing entry. Other safety layers include, a 10-foot-high concrete gate and 24 security cameras. Gabriela Dajer of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.
Monad Terrace’s Elevated Resilience
A large metropolitan city at sea level, Miami is predicted to be climate change flooding casualty one day, as sea levels rise. Atelier Jean Nouvel’s Monad Terrace stakes its claim as the first Miami Beach condominium built above updated flood and sea level elevations. The flood-resilient building begins its ascent 11.5 feet above Miami’s sea level, reflecting light off the lagoon which shimmers off its honeycomb-like façade. The higher grade “puts all interior spaces and the garage entrance well above the flood plain.”
Impossible Build Ritz-Carlton Residences
Called an “impossible build,” The Ritz-Carlton Residences (by Piero Lissoni and Miami architecture firm Stantec) are reimagined and inspired by past cultural icons—the 1920’s King Cole Hotel and the 1950’s Miami Heart Institute. But it wasn’t easy. Existing single-family zoning made this build an unforeseen pain in the ass—only 50% of the existing building could be demolished.
To reimagine this 7-acre property, developers Lionhearted Capital (aptly named) sliced the building like a wedding cake to transform six buildings into one slightly elevated cohesive Portofino-style luxury residential resort. Rebuilding involved installing a temporary steel exoskeleton, removal of shear walls, and digging through 10-to-14-feet of water to replace pilings into the bedrock (a 1 1/2-year process). It’s the largest adaptive reuse structure in south Florida—reinforced, secured, ideally located, and nearly ready.