SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Shipping containers, stacked and welded together, tower six stories high on a construction lot downtown.
Soon, with 83 units available, renters will live here — small apartments, to be sure, but also affordable.
“I see every day people that are getting kicked out of their apartments, they can’t find apartments, they have an eviction. Because of the pandemic, their hours got cut. And they’re losing their homes,” said Daneen Adams with Eco Box Fabricators, the Salt Lake-based company behind the project
“We have a very quickly rising homeless problem here in Salt Lake City and it needs to be fixed,” she added.
The concept, Adams says, is homelessness prevention. The studios are 320 sq. feet, and the one and two-bedroom units total 640 sq. feet. Regardless of the apartment, the renter will not pay more than 40% of their income.
“This is the answer,” said Adams.
“It’s not subsiding somebody’s rent, it’s not constantly giving them a hand out. This is a hand up,” she added.
Adams explains it this way: housing is expensive because housing is expensive to build. But the recycled shipping containers are much cheaper; roughly 40% to 50% less expensive to construct than a traditional apartment building of this size.
And though shipping containers are becoming more common in architecture, Adams says the six-story building is the tallest of its kind in the United States, perhaps even the world.
“It’s the first one ever done in the United States, and it’s right here in Salt Lake. It’s very unique, it was a very new concept. As you can see from the outside, and the inside, it’s very attractive. You could put anything you want on the outside of the containers. You can do any type of roof you want. You can do all different types of sky lighting. You can do anything,” she added.
She encourages those interested to email the leasing company about applying to live there: firstname.lastname@example.org.