If you’ve ever wanted to build your own impenetrable underground lair and have a spare $695,000, one seller on eBay has just the property for you. A Cold War-era communications bunker in western Kansas is up for grabs on the online auction site eBay, offering a lucky buyer the chance to own a piece of American history and the ultimate bug-out shelter.
The bunker, which is located outside Scott City, Kansas, sits on approximately 10 acres and is described by its seller as “an incredible asset to own.” Inside, it offers 8,000 square feet of underground floor space, plus an additional 3,800 square feet consisting of a "steel mezzanine" which makes up a second floor. The facility is complete with blast doors which “are nicely painted and functional” and the complex is described as being “EMP protected” without further detail, albeit if it was a Cold War communications site, this makes sense. "Clean floor surfaces," the listing also boasts.
The bunker is being sold on eBay by user “officefirstsolutions” who describes the bunker as “used in clean condition, being sold as is where is with no warranties.”
The full description on eBay reads:
This site was built in 60’s at a cost of approximately $4 Million (1960’s money). This facility is an underground structure built as a power-feed station on a hardened transcontinental coaxial-cable route, extending from Airmont, NY to Mojave, CA. The installation was also a base of operations for the technicians who maintained a section of the cable route and its unattended repeater stations. The mineral rights go with the property.
This site is partially developed into a data storage center (could be used for legal grow space in near future) and the other half partially developed into a VIP residential area. There are a number of security cameras installed around the property to provide security for the facility. They can be remotely operated for off-site security monitoring. Included with this system is keypad and keycard access.
The bunker was designed to withstand a nearby nuclear blast, featuring walls and ceilings constructed from 18 to 24 inches of military-grade concrete and steel, with four to six feet of dirt between it and the surface. Inside, the ceilings are 16.5 feet tall.
The facility features a standard 120v electrical system that can be upgraded to 480v, all powered by an on-site generator with a 2,000-gallon diesel fuel tank. In addition, there is an original backup generator at the site. A one-ton hoist at the bunker’s main entry can be used to load heavy equipment in or out of the facility.
The bunker also features a 10,000-gallon stainless steel water storage tank, a newly-dug well, and what is described only as a “functional bathroom.” Two sewage ejector pumps feed into a “double reduction sewage lagoon system.”
The site even includes a 177’ radio tower outside the bunker that is described as “potentially income-producing."
An additional description on the eBay listing offers a variety of uses for the bunker:
I have one of the best and cleanest sites available, so much refurb work has gone into this facility, so much potential here, as it sits, it can be finished as both a data center, lab, legal grow room and residential center of straight residential, I have worked on this site for several years, put a lot more money into this site then what I am asking for it, due to health issues and relocation I am selling my project, for the right person this has a lot of upside potential, it will take some work to complete, vision, this is no money really for the facility and what has been done in comparison to what this would cost from scratch, this is a must see, please contact me for more information.
Only serious inquiries only, please be prepared to allow us to vet you and your party if you want any information sent to you as we WILL NOT send plans or detailed information for security reasons without first knowing who you are, verified email and phone number required, thank you for your cooperation on this matter.
The listing then notes that “all Data center equipment, racks, servers, battery back up, power distribution” are sold separately, and that the price is for the facility only.
Despite being described as a "VIP bomb shelter," the accompanying images show the facility needs a little TLC. Pictures on the eBay listing show that the bunker is largely unfinished, with stacks of sheetrock panels and insulation piled up in some rooms and unfinished interior walls in others. For a hardened bug out shelter, though, the site looks hard to beat.
Given its description as being on a "transcontinental coaxial-cable route, extending from Airmont, NY to Mojave, CA," the bunker was most likely part of the AT&T L-Carrier Cable Network, a communications system developed to send telephone signals, and later television, coast-to-coast. AT&T began construction on the network in the years immediately following World War Two, and the line was upgraded beginning in the early 1960s in order to provide a hardened land line connection between critical military command installations that could survive an initial nuclear exchange.
The website ColdWarComms.org documents and archives these facilities, even including pictures of how many of them appear today. The site's description of the switching stations used in the L-Carrier network sound quite similar to the bunker facility listed on eBay:
These were main stations providing circuit routing and power injection to the cable. Repeaters were located every mile or two along the route in underground manholes. The cable itself was buried a minimum of 4 feet deep. The spacing of the repeaters and main stations depended on the version of the L carrier system in use on a particular route, the location of cities to be served by sidelegs from the main cable, and geography of the area. Different classes of stations provided either just power feed, circuit termination, and circuit switching. The power feed only stations were the smallest, while the switching stations were quite large, and all located below ground for protection from nuclear radiation and blast effects. The stations were constructed of reinforced concrete and had heavy steel blast doors.
Over 100 main stations and 1000 "repeater vaults" were constructed with enough amenities to sustain support crews for two weeks following a nuclear exchange. Every station offered nuclear early warning and blast detection systems. By the mid-1980s, the L-carrier lines were no longer needed, as faster forms of communication like fiber optic cable and satellites had made the coaxial copper cable that these stations carried from coast to coast obsolete.
These types of hardened military structures pop up for sale online from time to time. In 2018, an incredibly hardened former Royal Corps of Signals post built to spy on Soviet communications went up for sale, complete with its golf ball-shaped radome. In 2019, Grist House Brewing in Pennsylvania bought a derelict Nike Missile Master Direction Center from the 1950s outside Collier Township, Pennsylvania, and converted it into a brewery. Other Cold War-era facilities can now be rented out for television and film productions.
It might not be turning nukes into plowshares, but at least these abandoned relics of the Cold War's past can be put to use instead of fading away into rubble. Whatever the future owner of the bunker might do with the communications facility for sale in Kansas, they'll be doing it in one of the safest locations possible.
Contact the author: Brett@TheDrive.com