Monday, June 13, 2016

Town for Sale Within the U.S.’s 13,000-square-mile National Radio Quiet Zone, where no cellphones, wi-fi or any equipment operating on radio frequencies are allowed.

Town for Sale Within the U.S.’s 13,000-square-mile National Radio Quiet Zone, where no cellphones, wi-fi or any equipment operating on radio frequencies are allowed.

Spy town for sale: $1M for 92 homes plus dorms, police and fire stations, sport facilities. Don’t mind all those satellite dishes

Shari Kulha | June 7, 2016 | Last Updated: Jun 8 9:56 AM ET
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We’ve seen entire towns go up for sale, but two unique factors in this listing hold more intrigue but less practicality than usual. For an auction reserve of US$1 million, the buyer will get a 120-acre former government spy station in Sugar Grove Station, W. Va. The giant satellite dishes are still there and still track the location and content of international telecommunications activity, but they’re not part of the deal, and anyway they’re hidden behind a thick forest a mile away (makes you feel better, right?).

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govA view of the back yards of one housing area.
Then there’s the fact that the property sits within the 

 (The NRQZ also attempts to prevent radio interference to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory 30 miles away; they’re listening for sounds of space stations other than the ISS, we’d guess.) Sugar Grove and the NRAO have the tightest telecommunications restrictions within the zone. CB radio is 10-4, good buddy, but even microwave ovens are on the negatory list.

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govTypical suburban-style houses in this town.

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govA typical kitchen in one of the houses.
As the station can house 500 people, the listing suggests this would make a great resort area, which might put the whole no-cell thing in a plus column for those trying to disconnect, but we can’t see it operating as a conference centre, as was also suggested.

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govThe lobby area of the dorm building, which also has a canteen and other amenities.
It could be a private school or campus; graduating marks of students without access to IG or Snapchat could make for an interesting educational study. Using it as a family compound without airwave distractions could help the cousins get acquainted by being forced to interact old-school with each other.

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govThe playground area.
The highest bidder will get a fenced and gated town, with 80 charming houses (“in like-new condition”) on tree-lined streets just as many small American towns have.

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govThe pool area can be operational longer in this area than in most Canadian towns.
Included in the price are a pool, a bowling alley, a daycare centre, a community centre, a gym, a full-size indoor basketball court, tennis and racquetball courts, a football field, a playground with kiddie pool, a hobby shop for cars or woodworking, a police station and a fire hall. And dorms and administrative buildings.

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govThe massive basketball / sports court.
Government employees used to live in Sugar Grove, but last fall “it became unnecessary to house related analytical staff at the base,” says; we suppose they’re all telecommuting now.

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govThe spic-and-span new five-bay fire hall.
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests surround Sugar Grove, situated between the Allegheny Mountains and the south fork of the Potomac River.

TopTenRealEstateDeals via gsaauctions.govThen entry gate. Perhaps in need of a more-welcoming facelift.
The auction end date has not yet been determined, but open house tours are given intermittently. No need to fashion a tin-foil hat for the occasion. Click here for more information.

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