Arizonans find homes in shipping containers
Arizonans find homes in shipping containers In this Wednesday, March 16, 2016, photo, Patrick Tupas arrives at his shipping container apartment unit after work where he, his wife and dog live, in Phoenix. In the Containers on Grand project, the apartments are designed in a way that retains the corrugated metal exteriors. Each unit is made of two containers, but inside there are no signs of the cargo hauling days. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizonans find homes in shipping containers
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A stack of shipping containers sitting in a lot in an industrial section of Phoenix has some developers thinking inside the box.
The structures usually used to transport cargo have been transformed into eight apartments. Scuff marks, old serial numbers and shipping company logos remain. But a look inside each unit reveals a 740-square-foot modern home.
"It doesn't even feel like a shipping container. It's also insulated really well," said Patrick Tupas. He is in the Air Force and along with his wife signed a one-year lease for $1,000 a month. "It just feels like a regular apartment."
There was a downside, he said. Passers-by ask questions and sometimes press to see inside their home.
Housing and retail projects using the containers have popped up in recent years in Las Vegas, Detroit and Washington. Developers and cities want to cater to millennials and baby boomers who want to live closer to the cultural offerings in urban hubs.
To meet those needs, "cargotecture" has become a quick way to fill urban housing gaps.
"They are faster, cheaper and now potentially have much more of an aesthetic range," said Dana Cuff, director of cityLAB, a think tank at UCLA. It looks at architecture and urban growth. Some mask their shipping origins, but the ones in Phoenix don't, she said.
"They're celebrating them," Cuff said.
In the Containers on Grand project in Phoenix, the architecture firm, StarkJames, designed the apartments in a way that retained the corrugated metal exteriors. Each unit is made of two containers. Inside, there are no signs of the cargo hauling days.
The walls are painted white. The original wood flooring is encased in epoxy. There is enough space for a bedroom and living area.
The two rooms are connected by two separate hallways. One hallway has the kitchen, oven and some counter space. The other one has closet space and a nook. There is also a washer and dryer unit. Monthly rent averages about $1,000.
All but two of the eight units are occupied. One is being marketed as a vacation rental.
In Washington's Brookland neighborhood, university students and young professionals have been living in a four-story housing cluster since September 2014. In Las Vegas, containers make up the building blocks of a downtown retail complex.
In Detroit, Three Squared Construction is working on $14 million in new projects involving shipping containers because they save time. The company erected the city's first residential shipping-container development in April 2015.
The three-story building is used as a showcase with the top floor periodically rented out. CEO Leslie Horn said there's been a high demand among millennials and "empty-nesters."
With containers, they only save about 5 percent in lumber costs but even more in terms of time spent.
"You're saving a lot of time by getting it done faster," Horn said.
StarkJames, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is on track to build 12 more container homes in downtown Phoenix that will be stacked three-stories high. Despite the progress, they still get ribbing from others in the industry.
"We work with a lot of other developers," architect Brian Stark said. "They always ask 'How are the garbage can homes going?'"
But the firm is taking the teasing in stride. The downtown development will be called The Oscar after Oscar the Grouch, whose trash can makes him the only container-dweller on "Sesame Street."

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Why do shipping containers make good homes?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • mauryg-612-
    5/19/2016 - 10:34 a.m.

    I think that it is cool that people have made homes out of things like empty shipping containers, this also gives the possibility to give homeless people a place to live. I also think they make good homes because you don't have to pay as much for monthly rent.

  • colbys-3-bar
    5/19/2016 - 01:27 p.m.

    Shipping containers make good homes because they are large and they are not so expensive to live in. The shipping containers cost about 1,000 dollars per month and are insulated pretty well. I thought this article was interesting because i hotting a shipping container would be fun to live in.

  • taylorl-3-bar
    5/19/2016 - 04:13 p.m.

    Shipping containers make good homes because they are in the shape of one and it has a lot of living space. I chose this article because I've always wanted to know how they can become homes. I didn't think it was possible. It also give a possibility for homeless people to finally have a home. This article even said, "People have homes."

  • ericw-6-bar
    5/19/2016 - 06:40 p.m.

    Shipping containers make good homes because they are cheap, and there are thousands of them already made. These containers could easily make profit for whoever is renting out a place to stay for someone else. These are also light, and can be transported easily which was exactly it's original purpose.

  • williamb-4-bar
    5/19/2016 - 06:42 p.m.

    Shipping container's make great homes because of the size. They are great in size because they aren't to small or to big , they are just perfect.

  • williamb-4-bar
    5/19/2016 - 06:44 p.m.

    Shipping containers are great homes because of there size. They size is great because it isn't to big nor to small. the nice thing about them are they are very private and no where near people. This good because nobody can get on your nerves.

  • dashiellg-3-bar
    5/19/2016 - 06:59 p.m.

    Shipping containers make a great place to live in because they are easy to afford and they are just like regular homes. These homes have many things that my own home does for example plumbing, refrigeration, dishwasher, etc. I found this article interesting because it is cool that humans can make a home out of anything and be comfortable living there.

  • caymanm-2-bar
    5/19/2016 - 07:31 p.m.

    Shipping containers are good homes because they are easy to make, cheap, and make people interested in them. The article says, "Monthly rent averages about $1,000." Since the containers are very nice homes, that is a very good price. Also, they are way easier to make then apartments and use up less supplies. I thought this article was interesting because I would like to live in one of these containers.

  • sethg-2-bar
    5/19/2016 - 08:09 p.m.

    Shipping containers make good homes for various reasons. They are insulated well and are cheaper, faster and have much more of an aesthetic range, according to Dana Cuff. The homes are also very clever and make resident happy to live ' outside the box.' I found this article very interesting as I live in a normal home.

  • ellans-1-bar
    5/19/2016 - 08:17 p.m.

    Shipping containers make good home, because they provide many important necessary components for a house. This article states that shipping containers, " are faster, cheaper and now potentially have much more of an aesthetic range." This shows that many valuable things comes out of living in a shipping container. I think this article is interesting, because one wouldn't think of living in a shipping container.

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