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Need a New Home? Contain Yourself

Thursday, July 2, 2015

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DETROIT--Remember when a shipping container was just a shipping container?

Those hulking steel boxes (technically, intermodal freight containers) have come a long way from their beginnings as giant, rusty, Lego-like cargo holds.



Photos: Three Squared Inc.

Patric and Leslie Horn, founders of Three Squared Inc., say their new multifamily development in Detroit will be a first for the emerging industry of shipping-container construction.

They've found new life as self-service beer containers, pools, backyard offices and lottery towers (look it up), and even have their own Pinterest page.

Home Sweet Container Home

But all of those uses are relatively modest.

Now, the steel box can also be your ticket to luxe living on a large scale, according to developer Three Squared Inc. of Detroit.

The company is ready to roll out the welcome mat at its new Rosa Parks complex—billed as "the first multi-family dwelling constructed from retired shipping containers in the United States."

The $3.4 million 20-unit, four-story complex broke ground in April. The first phase of the "econ-conscious cargo container condo project," a Model Center, is slated to bow July 10.

Cookie Cutter Crumbles

Three Squared says its container construction system, called Cargolinc, offers "a new, smarter way to build ... at nearly half the cost of cookie-cutter construction."


The $3.4 million 20-unit, four-story Rosa Parks complex will be an eco-conscious cargo container condo project, says developer Three Squared Inc. of Detroit.

The company calls the container projects "eye-catching," energy efficient, green and durable, able to resist both fire and "Class 5 hurricane-strength winds."

Finally, the company says, container walls "have traveled the world and have a story to tell."

"They′ve seen the ocean, other countries, and stood the test of time."

Now, time will see if they will also withstand the test of homebuyers.


Tagged categories: Commercial Construction; Developers; Marine; North America; Program/Project Management; Residential Construction; Steel

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (7/2/2015, 8:37 AM)

Nice to see someone making a container dwelling at a competitive cost.

Comment from joe Friedt, (7/2/2015, 12:48 PM)

There are a surplus of containers in this country because we import more than we export. But be cautious many of these containers especially from China have lead paint on them in and out.

Comment from Tony Rangus, (7/2/2015, 12:57 PM)

"Eye-Catching???" Those things are UGLY. Talk about urban blight. I don't care how much paint is applied or how many windows are installed, or what landscaping is used, this is not a method that can be termed "urban renewal." What this amounts to may be claimed as green, but they are still big rectangular garbage cans!

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (7/6/2015, 8:27 AM)

Tony- looks better than a lot of that Brutalist crap from the 1970s.

Comment from jim dolan, (7/6/2015, 10:07 AM)

Live in Detroit, in a container, for $170,000. minimum. Yeah that makes good sense. I've heard there was a shortage of empty houses in Detroit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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