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With secret tunnels and a bunker, bizarre suburban Atlanta ‘fortress’ heads to auction

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Priced at nearly $15 million, Johns Creek compound with an indoor gun range is called one of America’s safest homes

An aerial view of the house.
Trying to break in here could be unwise, but paving the driveway would be smart.
Photos: Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

Nothing symbolizes crime and danger quite like Johns Creek, Georgia.

Okay, maybe not.

But homebuyers shopping around the area who stumble upon a certain “fortress” at 9110 Barkston Way in the highbrow Country Club of the South might think otherwise, staring at this virtually impenetrable neighborhood anomaly.

It’s been spotted on the market before for as high as $17 million, but a new listing and price offers interior glimpses at the unfinished, suburban Fort Knox like never before.

Weighing in at 36,000 square feet and set on more than three acres, the Rice House Atlanta, billed as “one of the safest homes in America,” will soon go to auction. It’s priced at $14.7 million now.

The bidding, however, will start at $3.9 million and conclude whenever the local cul-de-sac sheik or apocalypse-fearing golf pro writes a check.

No reserve is mentioned beyond the $3.9 million starting point.

The bizarre home, supposedly inspired by the Acropolis of Athens, is already guarded by the neighborhood’s 24-hour security patrols. But for someone, that just wouldn’t do it.

The Rice House is a SAFE (Strategically Armored and Fortified Environment), having been designed by global security expert Al Corbi, but the place is largely unfinished, leaving plenty of design decisions to the next owner.

“This is a unique opportunity to complete a true masterpiece,” said Paul Wegener, of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, in a press release.

“While the estate currently stands as a stately fortress with the necessary foundations to last a thousand years,” he continues, “it has the potential to be an extraordinary presidential or diplomatic compound, equipped with amenities to provide a luxurious, private lifestyle.”

Sure, the house comes with nine fireplaces, a wine cellar, an infrared sauna, and home theater, among other amenities, but the buyer to-be is likely eyeing the less conventional features.

The 15,000-square-foot bunker “with command center and concealed entrances/exits” is one element not seen in most houses. As are hidden tunnels, a “bank vault room,” and “remote-operated doors and walls, which are designed to be impenetrable.”

There are also three kitchens, a 5,000-square-foot car vault, and three different power sources—municipal, generator, and solar—just in case. And who could forget the bowling alley and indoor gun range?

The auction will run from September 18 through September 20.