- Super rich people are paying up to $US500,000 to install luxe panic rooms in their homes.
- These bulletproof and blast-proof rooms come with flat-screen TVs, high-end décor, and bars.
- These lavish panic rooms have spiked in popularity as gun violence has picked up.
Forget penthouse views and rooftop pools. The ultra-wealthy are shelling out up to $US500,000 for an unexpected amenity: luxurious panic rooms complete with flat-screen TVs, high-end décor, and even bars.
“Panic rooms have become more popular, particularly in London, especially with international clients from the Middle East and Russia, where they are prevalent,” Richard Westell, commercial sales manager for Safe and Bolt Co. and Opulent Safes, companies that make and install safes, vaults, and panic rooms, told Mansion Global. “These people want to replicate what they have in their other houses.”
In New York City, some members of the urban elite have built panic rooms into opulent homes such as an $US88 million Upper East Side mansion that the New York Times called an “urban fortress.” Internationally, Business Insider Australia reported in February 2018 that American billionaire Peter Thiel was building a panic room into his $US4.8 million house in New Zealand.
Of course, safety is still paramount in these fancy safe rooms, which are made of blast-proof and bulletproof material. But some have decorated their panic rooms to look like a 1920s speakeasy and or a Ralph Lauren catalogue, as Chris Cosban, the owner of New York-based Covert Interiors, which makes luxury panic rooms for the elite of New York City and the Hamptons, told Mansion Global.
These luxurious panic rooms cost between $US50,000 and $US550,000 for the basic armoured room, and more for the furnishings and décor, according to Mansion Global.
Interest in luxe panic rooms has spiked as mass shootings become more and more prevalent, said Chris Acevedo of Panic Room USA, a panic room firm based in Parkland, Florida.
“The volume of our business increases commiserate to the increase in gun violence,” he told the site.
After decreasing for years, homicides and suicides that involve guns have been on the rise, according to recent data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.