Of all the features we’ve written thus far, we are especially excited about Containers on Grand. Why? Because it’s located right in our backyard and we were able to physically see the project in the making. This project was designed and is being constructed by Stark James, LLC, a Scottsdale based firm. While construction to complete the property, which will total eight studio apartments, is still in process we were able to pay a visit to the site and talk with architect Wesley James.
This property is atop an approximate 12,000 square foot lot. Each apartment is formed by two 40ft high cube containers. There are four sets of two unit “buildings” whereby one apartment is directly above the ground unit. These studio apartments will be approximately 740 sq ft with the kitchen and bathroom being housed in what Wesley stated as a masonry core. Without the masonry core the interior space of the two containers is roughly 640 sq ft. Once improvements are made to the containers in order to make them livable you are expected to lose some interior space. Wesley estimated you lose about 8″-10″ inches on each side from the spray insulation. By utilizing this masonry core, additional square footage is added increasing the units to their final size of 740 sq ft. This masonry core is essentially a space between two of the “buildings” where plumbing and other utilities are fed into a traditionally built structure. This area will house the bathrooms and kitchens for each individual unit.
Wesley and Stark James were not initially motivated to use containers as building materials for their aesthetic appearance but really more because they realized that shipping containers were a very usable good that was otherwise going to be scrapped. For them, this was a problem that they were driven to solve in some way. Determining the best way to build with the containers was initially a small challenge however the real challenge for them was navigating the permitting process once they had finalized their architectural plans. Because containers are not considered by the International Building Code as an accepted building material, this type of construction tends to fall into a special category that has to be looked at by the state on a case by case basis. With the help of an awesome hard-working team they were able to move through the permitting process and start to finally “break ground” on the project this April.
The idea behind the exterior design of the containers was basically to leave the appearance of the containers exactly how it was. This is consistent even with the stacking style of the units which is meant to keep the containers looking the way they would on a ship during their sea journey. With that in mind the containers that were purchased from the Port of Long Beach were specifically chosen to be of certain color and from the same shipping company.
The project is scheduled to be completed by early summer and the units already have a wait list for tenants. We hope to stop by the property one more time before construction is completed and take some additional work-in-progress photos.
- Type of Project: Apartments
- Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
- Total number of containers: 16
- Size of Containers: 40 ft High Cube
- Number of Units: 8
- Sq Feet of Each Unit: 740
OUR QUESTION FOR YOU:
Would you still be interested in living in a recycled shipping container even if it didn’t look like a container on the exterior?