Archive for March, 2013


There was little to no chance a bomb would be dropped in Fort Pierce, Fla. in 1967 during the Cold War. But that didn’t stop 30-inch-thick steel-reinforced concrete from being poured in the middle of St. Lucie County.

The result was a bomb shelter designed to keep people alive for 30 days. Now it’s on the market for $499,500 and attracting all kinds of buyers — many who hope to make it the ultimate man cave.

“It’s something out of an old Japanese Godzilla movie,” said Hoyt C. Murphy Jr., the listing agent for the property. “It was built to withstand the big blast.”

Unlike a fallout shelter that protects from radioactive debris, the main purpose of the building was to protect from shock waves and overpressure. Upon entering the bunker, decontamination showers greet visitors and lead into a massive room with 17-foot-high ceilings.

Murphy says the original design plans were recently discovered, showing how the property was rigged with 200-kilowatt generators, massive air-intake tunnels and a custom ventilation system to be used in the face of disaster. Even though the property was vandalized after it was abandoned as a bomb shelter in the ’80s, there are still remnants of the Cold War era, such as canned sugar and milk solids.

“It has a lot of unique characteristics,” he said. “It’s a piece of history.”

While the nearly six-acre property lends itself to commercial uses such as storing an antique car collection, Murphy thinks there is a 50-50 chance the buyer will convert the property into a residential home.

The bomb shelter was abandoned in the 1980s but heyday remnants remain, such as canned sugar and milk solids.

Walt Simpson / via Zillow

The bomb shelter was abandoned in the 1980s but heyday remnants remain, such as canned sugar and milk solids.

He recently hosted a “meet-up” for South Florida Survivalists, a preppers group focused on self-reliance in the face of hurricanes, economic uncertainty, pandemic or nuclear proliferation. While the shelter was built to withstand an atomic bomb, Murphy says it would stand strong in the face of a hurricane — an attractive selling point for South Floridians.

One interested survivalist brought in an architect to determine how feasible it would be to convert the stakeout into a livable space.

While the architect was reportedly enamored with the space, Murphy reiterated that this would not be your average home renovation project.

“It will be interesting to see who buys the space,” he said. “To turn it into a home, they will have to be creative and have deep pockets.”

See more photos or take a virtual tour of the Fort Pierce bomb shelter.


Forget the War of 1812. How about a home whose historic foundation dates back a full century earlier and that has just been listed in Newark, N.J.?

The Sydenham House was built in 1712 as a two-room saltbox over a root cellar and was later expanded 1826. It’s now a five-bedroom, two-bathroom residence with a distinct calling card: It’s the oldest house in Newark and the oldest private residence in the metropolitan New York area.

Located at 29 Old Road To Bloomfield, Newark, N.J. 07104, the home has been refurbished to its original condition and modernized with amenities necessary for modern living. It has been listed since 1970 on the National Register of Historic Places.

Image: Sydenham House

National Register of Historic Places / Zillow

The 300-year-old Sydenham House hits the market.

Sydenham House appears to have come a long way since 2005, when it was last on the real estate market and featured in the New York Times. At that time, the home was in rough shape, occupied only by a caretaker employed by descendants of a Newark couple who had for 40 years worked on preserving the residence. The home still retains its original floors, doors and hardware, windows and fireplaces, but has been bolstered with new wiring, plumbing, roof and gourmet kitchen.

The Times noted that the home had been listed at $699,000 in 2005, which many neighbors deemed too high, especially because strict guidelines were set forth by its now-deceased owners regarding how the house can be remodeled or maintained.

Now, however, the home is priced at $438,000, though it still begs the question: How much value should be placed on a property for which there are no comparable homes?

To Rent? or To Buy?

Fast Facts

Posted: March 28, 2013 in National Real Estate News

Calif. median home price: February 2013: $333,880 (Source: C.A.R.)

Calif. highest median home price by region/county February 2013: Marin, $859,380 (Source: C.A.R.)

Calif. lowest median home price by region/county February 2013: Lake County, $125,000 (Source: C.A.R.) 

Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: February 2013: 110.2 , up 8.7 percent from January’s 101.4.  
Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Fourth quarter 2012: 48 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
Mortgage rates: Week ending 3/21/2013 30-yr. fixed: 3.54% fees/points: 0.8% 15-yr. fixed: 2.72% fees/points: 0.7% 1-yr. adjustable: 2.63% Fees/points: 0.4% (Source: Freddie Mac) 


According to C.A.R.’s Pending Home Sales Index, the combined share of all distressed property sales in California dropped to 32.9 percent in February, down from 35.6 percent in January and down from 53.3 percent in February 2012. Of the distressed properties, the share of short sales was 19.9 percent in February, down from 21.5 percent in January and down from 24.8 percent a year ago.  

6-Year Pavement Management System Update
This is a plan that will rehabilitate a majority of all public streets within the City over the next six years. Street rehabilitation will include reconstruction, overlays, and standard maintenance, depending upon the condition of the particular street.  The 6-year plan focuses on neighborhood street rehabilitation, programming neighborhoods in accordance to budget and the scheduling of future capital improvement projects. 

Click on the links to view each plan by year: 

Year One and Year Two were paid for with Measure C funds. 

Measure C, passed June 3, 2008 by Pismo Beach residents, increased sales tax from 7.25% to 7.75% for a period of six and one-half years. The measure helps preserve, enhance, and improve the infrastructure, safety, and character of Pismo Beach.