Apartments built out of shipping containers springing up in Detroit

A 3-story shipping container model is under construction at Trumbull and Pine in Corktown.
A 3-story shipping container model is under construction at Trumbull and Pine in Corktown. By Steve Neavling/MCM

Construction has begun on the first of several buildings that will be made out of shipping containers in Detroit.

Crews began erecting a three-story model unit on Trumbull in Corktown using nine old shipping containers.

The developer, Three Squared, plans to build a 20-unit apartment complex made of steel shipping containers at the corner of West Warren and Rosa Parks in Midtown. More container apartments are planned for an area behind the model unit.

Three Squared has commissioned Eric Lloyd Wright, the grandson of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, as the chief designer.

Another developer is planning to build a boutique hotel from shipping containers in the Eastern Market area.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Gladiolus

    I like it! Post-fire-hydrant houses! Try to torch THOSE puppies, Detravious! And if you have to abandon your house temporarily due to civil insurrection, you can weld steel plate over the windows and doors, or weld your steel shutters closed. Much better than that cheesy plywood that is so easily broken down. Detroit’s new Mad Max architecture.

    Even better, you can build the house outside Detroit, truck in the sections, and just bolt them together. No piles of building materials to be stolen or torched by Abdul overnight.

    One big problem: it almost guarantees gentrification (ie reverse white flight). If white folks know they can live in a tasteful, steel, bulletproof, fireproof home in Fort Honky, Detroit, they will be much more inclined to move back. Attach a two-container garage (or make the first floor a garage) and you would have the perfect solution.

  • Tom

    These make great affordable shelter but in Detroit there are so many viable homes falling to ruin or arson.

  • maggiemay

    Cool idea, but I’m sure they won’t be affordable for a recent college grad just starting a new career.

  • If I wanted to live in a box, I would have got a liberal arts degree.