Nashville Goes Modular: 83 Freight Shipping Container Apartment Development
While famous for its music culture Nashville, Tennessee in the USA has much of the same problems with housing affordability as any city in the world. Broke up-and-coming musicians, for example, just can’t afford to live where the action is! The answer seems to be in modular shipping container construction.
The 83 Freight project consists of two buildings of 83 shipping container homes in the popular inner city area of WeHo in Nashville. Due to the area’s popularity homes are very expensive in the area, making it impossible for artists, hospitality workers and other people essential to a city’s life, to live there. The homes will be studios spanning about 320 square feet, one-bedroom units at 640 square feet and two-bedrooms units at both 960 and 1,280 square feet.
Not quite $150,000 homes
People hark back to the time when it was possible to buy a decent home for $150,000 but even with shipping container based construction processes this won’t be possible. How about $200,000 for a studio apartment? That’s not far off target!
Shawn Bailes, president and CEO of the development behind the 83 Freight project in downtown Nashville said, “With land and construction costs climbing every day, more developers need to focus on diverse housing options and not just more of the same. Our studio units fill a need for the person that usually has to go with one or two other people to cram into a house or bigger unit just in order to afford to live within the city. Hospitality workers, struggling artists and people just starting out on their own are just a few of the ‘missing middle’ workforce that we are attempting to serve with inner-city living.”
Building with affordability in mind
Where a home can be built cheaply, so the savings made by the developer can be passed onto the buyer. This is why shipping container construction can be so attractive. The apartments in question are built and fitted out in a large part in a factory and then slotted together like Lego bricks into the main apartment blocks. Since much of the work is done in a controlled environment, things can be done quickly.
On site the half built shipping container units are plugged together and the process can take just a couple of months or so to complete after the ground is broken. This makes for great savings in construction costs due to fewer man hours being put into the process.
It is conceivable that, unless price controls are put into the deeds of ownership, the first shipping container apartment owners could just buy the homes, live in them a few years until the prices rocket to that of the open market outside the development, and then sell on with a healthy profit. This would enable them to buy somewhere decent but cheaper per square foot elsewhere. Profiteering needs to be avoided otherwise in just a few years the 83 Freight development could only be affordable for the first owners.
A good idea?
If properly managed for the longer term (with price controls for example), shipping container affordable ‘cargotecture’ can be a great way of enabling essential workers, and those that create a buzz in a city, to live near where they ply their trade. Millionaires’ ghettos are OK until you face up to the fact that those millionaires need people to make their lives possible. Where do the cleaners, restaurant staff, bar staff, musicians, artists, shopkeepers, health assistants and care assistants live? If they are able to live in high quality accommodation so the balance of a community is restored.
Are you ready to build your own shipping container home?
At Gateway Container Sales & Hire, our team of shipping container experts will help suggest the ideal shipping container for your project, whether it’s a standard cargo container, or something that’s already had some modifications. Give us a call now and start your tiny house adventure or get a free quote!