Safe rooms, now all dressed up

Foreign buyers demand extreme protection along with privacy

New York /
May.May 26, 2015 10:00 AM

It might not sound like the most appealing amenity, but foreign investors are requesting them: safe rooms.

While many people’s image of a safe room — or, as they’re sometimes known due to David Fincher’s eponymous 2002 thriller, “panic rooms” — might be more dramatic, today’s safe rooms are hidden in plain sight, between mahogany paneling or smooth plaster, according to the New York Times. In some cases, bathrooms or closets are fortified. Bedrooms can also double as safe rooms.

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

Gaffney told the newspaper that wealthy buyers from countries such as Russia or the Middle East are used to a high level of security at home.

The Department of Buildings doesn’t have records of the number of safe rooms around the city. Gaffney, however, told the newspaper that his business has doubled over the last 10 years. He installs about six safe rooms a year, the newspaper reported, up from one or two before Sept. 11.

The topic came up at a recent Knight Frank breakfast, when Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber mentioned his wife’s response to seeing a “panic room” in a townhouse at which the couple looked.

“The panic room worked,” Lorber said. “She panicked right out of there.” [NYT] — Claire Moses

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Internal Revenue Service is going after foreign real estate investors as part of a broader sweep to collect revenues amid the pandemic.  (iStock)

“There’s a lot of money to be made”: IRS targets foreign real estate investors

“There’s a lot of money to be made”: IRS targets foreign real estate investors
Charles Rettig, Commissioner of the IRS (Getty)

Opportunity Zone rule change seeks to entice foreign investors

Opportunity Zone rule change seeks to entice foreign investors
 The Qualtrics Tower at 1201 2nd Avenue in Seattle with Hana Financial CEO Kim Jung-tai and Skanska USA CEO Richard Kennedy (Google Maps)

$700M Seattle office tower buy would be among largest Covid-era property deals

$700M Seattle office tower buy would be among largest Covid-era property deals
The coronavirus has been crushing global real estate investment for months, but there are a couple of sectors weathering the storm (iStock)

Here’s how much Covid has crushed global RE investment

Here’s how much Covid has crushed global RE investment
Global private real estate investment continues to fall as the coronavirus continues to force economics to a standstill. (Credit: iStock)

Private real estate investment deals tumble worldwide

Private real estate investment deals tumble worldwide
LA is one of the trickiest cities for institutional investors to understand. Here’s why

LA is one of the trickiest cities for institutional investors to understand. Here’s why

LA is one of the trickiest cities for institutional investors to understand. Here’s why
Cheung Chung Kiu is no stranger to big real estate deals (Credit: Wikipedia)

Mysterious billionaire who bought $262M London mansion is obsessed with blockbuster real estate deals

Mysterious billionaire who bought $262M London mansion is obsessed with blockbuster real estate deals
Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Credit: Getty Images)

Masa Son, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Tony Blair walk into a bar and decide to build a $34B city in Asia

Masa Son, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Tony Blair walk into a bar and decide to build a $34B city in Asia
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...