Rich NYC Buyers Now Requesting Luxury Panic Rooms

Posted On Tue, May 26, 2015 By

Posted On Tue, May 26, 2015 By In City Living, real estate trends

Call it the problems of 0.002 percent, but the Times reports that wealthy buyers are now requesting that “safe rooms” be installed as part of their multi-million dollar buys. Although when most of us envision these spaces we immediately think of the movie “Panic Room” where Jodie Foster and her on-screen daughter are hunkered down in a dark and cold metal encasement with bad lighting, the wealthy by comparison have no interest of slumming it even when under siege. The paper reports that these individuals are now putting their panic rooms in full view, and they’re just as cushy as the rest of their ultra-luxe digs.

240 Riverside Boulevard, Heritage at Trump Place, Saudi Prince apartmentSaudi Prince’s Upper West Side apartment has three bullet-proof panic rooms

The safe rooms of today are cozy spots that are as much a part of the home as the kitchen or family room. Oftentimes these spaces are the bathrooms, bedrooms, and even closets—as is the case with this West Village townhouse previously owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, which features an 8-foot-by-12-foot bulletproof space inside the third-floor master bedroom masquerading/doubling as a walk-in closet. And though modern panic rooms are still built with cinder block, steel plates and Kevlar sheets, they’re also now covered in fine finishes like mahogany paneling.

But in addition to serving celebs and high profile execs, the bullet- and chemical warfare-proof rooms are finding a heightened interest from buyers abroad—namely those hiding behind LLCs—hailing from politically tumultuous or developing areas such as Russia, Africa and the Middle East. The paper says that these folks are used to the same level of security at home, adding “they won’t feel at home without it.”

“The world is a very scary place right now, especially for people of means; they feel cornered and threatened,” Tom Gaffney, the president of Gaffco Ballistics, a company specializing in safe rooms in NYC, told the Times. “When you have so much to lose, and you can afford to, you put a premium on your safety.”

There aren’t any official numbers on just how many panic rooms exist in NYC, but Gaffney says that his business has doubled in the last ten years and he installs about six safe rooms a year, versus roughly two annually pre-9/11.

[Via NY Times]

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