Forget penthouse views and rooftop pools. The ultra-wealthy are spending up to US$550,000 for an unexpected amenity: luxurious panic rooms complete with flat-screen televisions, high-end decor, 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,” said Richard Westell, commercial sales manager for Safe & Vault and Opulent Safes, companies that make and install safes, vaults and panic rooms, told the property company Mansion Global.
“These people want to replicate what they have in their other houses.”
In New York, some members of the urban elite have built panic rooms into opulent homes such as an US$88 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 US$4.8 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.
Yet some people have decorated their panic rooms to look like a 1920s speakeasy, or hidden bar, and or a Ralph Lauren catalogue, Chris Cosban, the owner of New York-based Covert Interiors, which makes high-end panic rooms for the elite of New York and the Hamptons, told Mansion Global.
These luxurious panic rooms cost between US$50,000 and US$550,000 for the basic armoured room, and more for the furnishings and decor, Mansion Global said.
Interest in luxe panic rooms have risen since mass shootings have become more prevalent, Chris Acevedo of Panic Room USA, a panic room company in Florida.
“The volume of our business increases commiserate to the increase in gun violence,” he said.
After decreasing for years, killings and suicides that involve guns have been on the rise, recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider .