Liftoff was quick: The property found a buyer after less than two weeks on the market.
The now-empty underground complex was built in the early 1960s and stretches as far as 60 feet below the earth. It was once monitored 24 hours a day by the military.
The top-secret Titan was “the largest land-based missile ever deployed by the US,” according to the Titan Missile Museum website. Although it was designed to carry a warhead, it had been built not to be used, but to deter other countries from launching nuclear attacks against the United States.
The concrete-and-steel bunker was built to withstand a nuclear attack, but it’s now rusted with peeling paint (which could be lead-based) and possibly asbestos.
Behind 6,000-pound blast doors, the facilities once included an entry portal by stairs or freight elevator, and a domed living area with a kitchen, sleeping quarters, and bathroom. A center level housed the computer controls, and a lower level contained holding tanks and the escape hatch.
“It’s definitely my most unique listing to date,” says the listing agent, Grant Hampton. “I’ve always been fascinated by the structures and facilities. I was just in awe.”
He notes that only 54 of these silos existed in the United States, in three states: Arizona, Arkansas, and Kansas. One was preserved as a museum.
In 1982, the Titan II program was deactivated. “And so, out of 54 [silos], all of them were decommissioned; 53 were decommissioned and semi-demolished,” Hampton says.
Originally designed for a 10-year deployment, the missiles stayed in operation for some 24 years, and had to be monitored around the clock.
The government worked hard to keep any prying eyes from heading back inside, removing the access points and covering them up, taking out stairs, and removing the elevator. In effect, they created a time capsule. As it is now, the silo is only accessible by an extension ladder, involving a treacherous 35-foot climb down.
The first private owner bought it from the government in 1995 for $25,000. The current owner then bought the complex in 2003 for $200,000, intending to add some improvements so that it could become a data storage facility. That plan fell apart when the economy bottomed out several years later, and the facility was left as it stands today.
In its heyday, military personnel lived there, cooked there, slept there, and worked there. So options for its new mission are multiple. The rare find was on the market for just under two weeks and had offers over the asking price, Hampton says.
In addition to the underground property, above ground is a 12-acre parcel, with “boundless” views. And while private, it’s easily accessible to Tucson, the listing notes, just about 20 minutes away from supplies.
Hampton says he’s “heard it all” when it comes to ideas for what could become of the silo—an Airbnb rental, personal residence, even a destination bar and grill. Hollywood also came calling, curious if it could be used for film shoots.
But before any of that can happen, the site needs some serious work.
“This particular site is going to take fixing up, getting rid of the old paint, restoring ventilation, and [there are] no utilities are in place.” Hampton added that a buyer should make it a priority to “chisel out the escape hatch before … sleeping in it.” And stairs or an elevator would be welcome additions.
“I hope they get rid of the ladder,” he says.
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