Nuclear missile site shut down by the US government in the 1980s is now on sale for $395,000

Hidden in the Arizona desert, a Cold War nuclear missile site that was shut down by the US government in the 1980s and is now on sale for $395,000


Anyone fancying a fixer-upper with a difference can get their hands of a decommissioned underground nuclear missile facility in the heart of the Arizona desert which has hit the market for $395,000.

Real estate brokers have posted the former missile complex for sale as part of a 13-acre piece of territory about 35 miles north of Tucson.

Though humans have never lived in the complex, it was once home to a relic of the Cold War – a Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Titan II was a missile capable of hitting a target 6,000 miles away while delivering a nuclear payload that is 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima. 

A 13-acre tract of land about 35 miles north of Tucson, Arizona – which includes a decommissioned underground nuclear missile silo – is up for sale

The site was once home to a Titan II, an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The entrance to the silo is seen above

For $395,000, the site can be yours. Its owner says that it can be used as a secure storage facility that can house sensitive data

The site was one of 18 missile silos that were built around Tucson beginning in the early 1960s, when the fate of the world hung in the balance as tensions with the Soviet Union were high.

In the early 1980s, with the Cold War dying down, the aging missiles were decommissioned and the silos were destroyed by demolition crews before they were filled in with debris and concrete, according to the .

The government then put up the sites for sale.

‘They went for a fairly reasonable price,’ said Yvonne Morris, who commanded one of Tucson’s nuclear silo crews.

Anyone wishing to visit the site to take a look will have to climb down a 40ft extension ladder

The actual silo where the missile was housed has been demolished and filled in, but the rest of the complex is accessible

The access portal, command center, and decontamination area remains intact

The underground site was built to withstand a nuclear blast thanks to a 4ft thick concrete shell

The site also has the three blast doors that were in the original design

Each of the blast doors weighs some 6,000 pounds, making it strong enough to withstand shock waves from a nuclear blast

‘People who weren’t interested in what was underground bought them for the land.’

Rick Ellis decided to buy this particular site that is being sold.

In 2002, he paid $200,000 to the family that bought it from the government nearly four decades ago. They paid just $20,000.

Ellis is now seeking $395,000, according to . 

He told the Star that he is selling the property because he is ‘bored’ and has better things to do with his money.

To get prospective buyers interested, Ellis ed a realtor, Grant Hampton, who brought a professional photographer down to the site in order to get photos.

Anyone willing to take a look at the site must be an eligible buyer who can prove they have the money to purchase the complex

Prospective buyers must also sign a liability waiver, forfeiting the right to sue in case of injury

After the government decommissioned the site, it sold it for a bargain basement price of $20,000

Its current owner bought the site for $200,000. He is now seeking to unload it for $395,000

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Anyone brave enough to make the dangerous journey into the site will need to contend with remains of dead rodents

The US government built 18 missile silos in the Tucson area, which were decommissioned and then sold off in the early 1980s

The facility is also protected against electromagnetic pulses that can damage electronics and computer hard drives

Though it is doubtful anyone would want to live here, the site could be used to store sensitive equipment and data

An artist rendering shows the Titan II missile complex when it was online during the height of the Cold War

‘This is the coolest listing I’ve had to date,’ Hampton said during his visit.

The only way to reach the former complex is to open metal doors covering the bunker’s vertical access portal.

Visitors then walk past a pack-rat nest and down a short flight of stairs, where a 40ft extension ladder awaits.

The ladder is the only way to get into or out of the facility.

Ellis said he once saw a 5ft long rattlesnake in one of the walkways.

To get to the entrance to the launch control center, Ellis opens up a 6,000-pound blast door.

When they reach the underground space, they see a dark and dirty room where the floor is lined with the remains of dead rodents.

Hampton said that only eligible buyers who could prove they have enough money to buy the property would be given the tour.

Any prospective buyer who wants to see the property would need to sign a liability waiver – meaning that they forfeit the right to sue in case they get injured along the way.

The trip underground is not a typical house-hunting experience.

Ellis joked that if he held an open house for potential buyers, ‘their surviving relatives might end up owning the place.’

Anyone who moves in can at least feel safe in the event of a nuclear holocaust.

A 4ft thick concrete shell protects the bunker.

A control center three stories high is mounted on giant springs that are capable of withstanding shockwaves generated by a nuclear blast.

The facility is also protected against electromagnetic pulses that can damage electronics and computer hard drives.

The Titan II was a missile capable of hitting a target 6,000 miles away while delivering a nuclear payload that is 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima. A deactivated Titan is seen above at the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley, Arizona, in May 2015

Ellis said this makes the site ideal for those wishing to use it as a storage area for sensitive data.

Shortly after he bought the site, Ellis said he needed to spend about $80,000 to clean out the bunker and another $20,000 for paperwork so that the land would be rezoned for commercial use.

He had originally planned to sell the property more than a decade ago and even had a number of potential buyers lined up, but the Great Recession hit and he had to keep the bunker empty ever since.

Even though the property went on sale officially on Friday, Ellis said he has been trying to unload the site for two years.

Ellis said he turned away one possible buyer who had planned to turn the site into an underground medical marijuana greenhouse.

Another interested party was going to turn the complex into a pornographic studio.

‘I didn’t want that,’ Ellis said.

Ellis believes that the site could serve as a storage facility, though he doesn’t know who could possibly end up buying the silo. 


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