Detroit Developer to Repurpose Shipping Containers into Energy Efficient Condominiums

Three Squared Inc., a local real estate developer specializing in cargo-based construction, will soon break ground on one of the most innovative multifamily projects in Detroit: a four-story condominium complex built entirely from empty shipping containers.

Three Squared Inc., a local real estate developer specializing in cargo-based construction, will soon break ground on one of the most innovative multifamily projects in Detroit: a four-story condominium complex built entirely from empty shipping containers.

This ambitious project was first proposed in 2008 but had to be put on hold because of the real estate crash. With the construction industry visibly picking up in Detroit, the developer is now able to resume the $3.4 million project at Warren Avenue and Rosa Parks Boulevard, near Wayne State University.

Estimated to complete in April 2013, the planned “Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks” housing complex was designed by local architecture firm Steven C. Flum, Inc., and will use 93 retired shipping containers as the primary framing for the structure. According to the architecture firm, it is estimated that 21,000 shipping containers are brought to the United States every day, especially from China where it’s cheaper to build new containers rather than shipping them back for reuse.

Totaling 26,000 square feet of space, the innovative housing development will include 17 condominiums, studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 850 to 1,920 square feet, as reported by Detroit Free Press. According to the news source, Three Squared Chief Executive Office Leslie Horn hopes to implement similar housing developments in other U.S. cities if the Detroit project proves to be a success

Earlier this month Leslie Horn told MHN that a three-story sales center with model units will be created by the end of the year close to the Rosa Parks site to promote the master project’s high level of energy efficient amenities that would cut down energy costs by 80 percent. The developer plans to pre-sell the Rosa Parks units at about five percent less than market rate condominiums of similar sizes.

This is the second shipping container project underway in Detroit. As previously reported by MHN City Pages, developer Shel Kimen will build a 36-room boutique hotel in the Eastern Market district using the same type of technology.

Rendering of “Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks” housing project courtesy of Steven C. Flum, Inc.