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
Centrale at 138 East 50th Street and Ceruzzi president Arthur Hooper (The Centrale NYC, Hooper via Sasha Maslov/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Korean lender sues for $40M over Ceruzzi condo mezz loan
Korean lender sues for $40M over Ceruzzi condo mezz loan
Canada, South Korea, Germany, Singapore, and the UK top the list of countries investing in real estate. (Getty)
South Korea now No. 2 foreign investor in US CRE
South Korea now No. 2 foreign investor in US CRE
Stockbridge managing director Terry Fancher (Photos via Stockbridge)
Stockbridge and South Korean firm strike $2B warehouse deal
Stockbridge and South Korean firm strike $2B warehouse deal
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
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...