Everything We Know About the World’s Largest ‘Underground City’ Where 1,600 People Work

Source: SubTropolis

Have you ever heard about SubTropolis? A massive underground business facility in Kansas City, SubTropolis is the place where 1,600 people go to work every single day.

With its humongous area, the facility allows for diversified operations. Anything from the creation of food packaging to car assembly has occurred within the walls of SubTropolis. Here are some of the most intriguing facts about this secretive underground operation.

Where Is the SubTropolis Located?

Even if you are a Kansas City local, there’s still a massive chance of never knowing anything about SubTropolis.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Americasroof

The reason for that is simple – the commercial facility is located 150 feet below the ground. According to some claims, it is the world’s largest underground business complex. SubTropolis is housed in a former limestone mine known as Bethany Falls.

A Massive Underground Facility

The fact that operations occur underground is marvelous but it’s not the only incredible piece of information about SubTropolis.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/ErgoSum88

Builders of the mine used the so-called room and pillar method to get limestone out from the ground. As a result, spacious empty chambers remained. Today, SubTropolis has 17-foot -high ceilings and massive 25-foot square pillars that support the entire complex. The entire SubTropolis spans a surface area of 55 million square feet. Even more interestingly, SubTropolis features 10.5 miles worth of fully usable and illuminated roads and a 21-mile-long railroad track.

The Benefits of Underground Business Operations

The secretive nature of SubTropolis has a logical explanation that’s far from a conspiracy. A few properties make the place perfect for the completion of multiple commercial processes.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/James St. John

The underground location allows for the maintenance of a steady temperature, regardless of the external environmental conditions. Year-round, the mine has a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The World’s Strongest Business Facility?

SubTropolis is also being advertised as one of the strongest and most secure business facilities out there.

Source: Pixabay/Pexels

Limestone is an exceptionally tough material. Its strength comes in the range of 18,000 to 24,000 pounds per square inch. That’s almost six times stronger than concrete, making SubTropolis a super safe location for all kinds of businesses.

Who Operates from SubTropolis?

A number of entities, including a few federal operations are executed from within the SubTropolis premises.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Coolcaesar

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Postal Service both lease space within the complex. The postal service houses its collectible stamp operations there. EPA uses the underground facility for its Region-7 Training and Logistics Center.

Many Other Businesses Have Also Leased SubTropolis Space

Commercial companies have also chosen SubTropolis because it’s ideal for the storage of various types of goods and sensitive machinery.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Enrico Cabianca

Pharmaceutical companies, e-commerce businesses, record storage, and even food distribution businesses have chosen SubTropolis as the home of some operations. It’s a well-known fact that Ford was one of the first businesses to move in after the underground commercial venue opened. The space has been used for the storage of old vehicles and for car customization.

Access to Multiple Curated Services

The SubTropolis advantage isn’t just about the stable work conditions created by the underground environment. This facility gives its occupants a few additional important perks.

Source: National Archives

At SubTropolis, businesses enjoy the assistance of a full-time maintenance crew, a 24/7 security crew, and a modern fire sprinkler system that’s operated by a centralized computer system.

Space Available for Expansion

The current size of SubTropolis is impressive but the underground venue provides opportunities for additional expansion.

Source: Flickr/James St. John

At the time being, there are more than 6.2 million square feet of space available for expansion of the leasable area. If this additional resource were ever to be utilized, SubTropolis will never be throned from its position as the largest underground commercial area.

SubTropolis Is Open to the Public

While all of the information available about SubTropolis makes it feel like some kind of incredible top-secret operation, it really isn’t.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Smuckola

Anyone can take a look inside by driving through the underground facility. SubTropolis is accessible from street level and it has multiple entrances that enable public access.

The History of SubTropolis

SubTropolis is the brainchild of the late Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Emiya1980

Hunt used his real estate development company to conceptualize and execute the commercial venue underground. Hunt was also the person who trademarked the phrase “World’s Largest Underground Business Complex.”

SubTropolis Often Houses Events and Public Initiatives

Such a massive facility couldn’t just be reserved to business operations. SubTropolis is open to tourists and it even houses public events every once in a while.

Source: Flickr/mtfraizer

The SubTropolis annual Groundhog Run is a charity marathon that has been occurring ever since 1982. The proceeds go to Ability KC and everyone participating can choose between a 5K and a 10K run. A children’s run was recently added to the marathon.

The Home of History and Culture

SubTropolis with its location is especially well-protected from natural disasters. That’s why some of its space is used to house and protect important pieces of American culture.

Source: CNN/National Archives

Underground Vault & Storage is one of the more intriguing SubTropolis tenants. The entity stores hundreds of thousands of original films, soap operas, cartoons, and other pieces of cinematic work underground. Specialized 45-degree refrigerated vaults have been created for the purpose.

Not the Only One of Its Kind

SubTropolis is amazing but it’s not the only underground commercial facility in the US or across the world.

Source: Pixabay/yobli

The abandoned mine in Butler, Pennsylvania is an example of a similar underground commercial center. It is currently used by the US Federal Government and Corbis as a secure storage site.

Other Countries Have Their Underground Offices Too

Commercial and even residential venues located underground aren’t unheard of. Several countries have such complexes that benefit from the stable environment and the security of the underground space.

Source: Flickr/Matt Brown

Reso in Montreal is known as The Underground City and it consists of offices, convention centers, shops, and even residential spaces. Reso was created to keep people protected from the harsh Canadian winters. Growing Underground is a farm in London that’s completely housed under the surface. It is set up in a World War II bunker and the farm counts on hydroponics and LED lights to allow the growth of year-round crops.

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

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