Excitement for Detroit Condo Project Hard to Contain

A Detroit developer is moving ahead with plans for an innovative condo project that will repurpose shipping containers for medium-density housing, reports John Gallagher.

Despite their inherent advantages in cost and modularity, and some high profile successes, shipping container architecture has had a tough time attracting the attention of developers in the United States. A $3.4-million 20-unit condominium project being planned for a site near Wayne State University may change that.

"First proposed in 2008, the shipping-container condo project known as Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks stalled during the national real estate crash," writes Gallagher, "but is now back on target for a 2013 construction start." The return of the project was announced last week by Leslie Horn, CEO of Three Squared, the project's developers.

Although Three Squared is bullish on the adaptability of containers for a variety of building types - from emergency housing to dormitories - potential investors remain hard to convince. "Even last week I met with some investors and one of them said, 'I'd rather invest after you have one built.' I think part of it is education," Horn said. "People still have a stigma because they don't see the versatility in container construction."

A two-unit model is set to break ground in mid-December.

Full Story: Detroit firm aims to use shipping containers for Midtown residences



Shipping container silliness in Detroit

This idea is just plain silly. Detroit has hundreds of empty houses that could be fixed up and lived in. Why build condos from shipping containers? Let's get real.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Planetizen Courses image ad

Looking for the perfect last-minute gift?

A one-year subscription to Planetizen Courses is the gift that will continue giving all year long.