It’s not the first time that an entire American town has gone on the auction block, but it might be the most unusual.
Sugar Grove Station, W.Va. was originally a United States Navy military base to support part of the National Security Agency’s surveillance operation. Though the array of giant parabolic dishes that continue to track location and content of international telecommunications activity is still in operation and not part of the sale, they are completely obscured from view behind a thick forest one mile away. When it became unnecessary to house related analytical staff at the base, it was retired in the fall of 2015 and put up for auction to the highest bidder.
Built between 1960 and 2014, the fenced and gated town has private full-service utilities to support as many as 500 people on over 120 acres. Included are 80 homes on tree-lined residential streets in like-new condition, a swimming pool, bowling alley, youth daycare center, a community center with a fireplace (which was designed to function as a restaurant/bar), a gym, full-sized indoor basketball court, tennis and racquetball courts, a football field, a large playground with kiddie pool, and 12 guest cabins for visitors. There are also several large buildings for multiple use as well as a four-section hobby building for working on cars, woodworking shop and other creative pursuits. For community safety, a police station and fire station are already in place.
Sugar Grove is surrounded by the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests between the Allegheny Mountains and the south fork of the Potomac River. It is located within a 13,000-square-mile area known as the National Radio Quiet Zone, so cell phones, WiFi and any equipment operating on radio frequencies are restricted from use. The Quiet Zone was established in 1958 by Congress so as not to interfere with the operation of the nearby parabolic dishes or the National Radio Astronomy Observatory 30 miles away.
Sugar Grove Station is perfect as a corporate retreat, (cult headquarters), academic campus, (cult headquarters), or corporate training center (cult headquarters). (Listen, I saw “Big Love,” and I know a cult community when I see one. No WiFi!? That can only be an academic campus…..on a cult compound!)
Nevertheless, the area’s now up for auction with a minimum bid of $1 million. The auction end date is to be determined.
This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.