PHOENIX - If you've driven around in Downtown Phoenix lately, you've probably noticed residential and commercial properties built using shipping containers.
Grand Avenue is home to The Containers on Main, an eight-unit residential community all made out of shipping containers.
Also downtown is The Oscar, which is a mix of residential and office space and houses the designers behind these shipping container projects, Local Studio AZ.
“We have so many shipping containers sitting in ports, and they are relatively inexpensive, and they are great building blocks," said Brian Stark, owner of Local Studio.
Every unit has a story and history behind it. Even the markings on the floor show what your container was used for.
Aside from the unique living space, there's a few more benefits to living in a shipping container.
The first is energy efficiency.
“The way we’ve insulated them, we have an R-Value of R45. R19 is what’s required by code and so we are seeing a huge impact on electric bills, and our residents love that," said Stark.
You are also reusing instead of wasting containers that are no longer used.
“We are able to take that container, upcycle it and turn it into a house and so we are able to divert a lot of that from landfill or a caustic recycling project," said Stark.
Stay tuned for new Local Studio projects in the West Valley and Mesa, but in Downtown Phoenix, construction is already underway through another developer on The Churchill at First & Garfield Streets.
“The Churchill is made up of two bars, four restaurants, retail and a wine bar," said Stark.
The Churchill will also be built using shipping containers. One retailer will be State Forty Eight, an Arizona apparel company.
“I can’t wait to be a part of the local community that The Churchill will be, all of us are very excited about it. Getting to know and work with other local businesses is always a good thing for us," said Nicholas Polando, co-owner of State Forty Eight.
The Churchill is set to open early Summer 2018.
Will these be a fad that comes and goes?
“It’s been happening in Europe since the '70s, and we are sitting on thousands of containers, and so I don’t see it going away anytime soon," said Stark.