New Corktown apartments made with recycled shipping containers

New construction is going up in Corktown with apartments made out of recycled shipping containers.

Move over bricks, concrete and panels. There's a new player in the home building game in metro Detroit. 

"We're taking a product like shipping containers, and reusing it," said Leslie Horn. "It's already been used, retired or discarded. But it is still in really good shape. So it's about sustainability. 

"It's about taking a product and reusing it. That's one of the major reasons we wanted to bringing this in to the city."

Horn is CEO of Three Squared, the property development company behind Detroit's first residential shipping container development.

This is a three-story unit made of steel shipping containers located in Corktown. 

"What we're bringing to the table is some energy efficiencies so that it won't cost you an arm and a leg to heat in the winter and cool down in the summer."

And construction started just last week.

"We framed this building last week in six hours and 15 minutes," Horn said. 

Horn says this quick moving construction process will help keep prices affordable and allow market rate prices.

"Where we save our money is we're building in less than half the time and you're in revenue that much faster," Horn said. ."That's really the major cost savings we are bringing." 

This may look like a shipping container now but as construction continues, it will soon be someone's balcony. Those connected to this project believe more people will gravitate toward this type of construction. 

"It's recycling, it's going green," said Ron Madison, of the Construction and Design Services Group. "It is reusing containers that are sitting in a port somewhere that have no life left in them. We are giving them life.

"It's the way the future is going to be."

And the idea is catching on.

Casey Krone and her husband contacted Three Squared recently about building them a home near Ann Arbor made of recycled shipping containers.

"We want to build in a way that is low cost," Krone said. "Because we really want to be able to spend a large portion of our lives together traveling and having experiences and not be in a situation where we're paying off a mortgage."

As of now, no units have been sold in Detroit but Horn says the list of potential buyers is growing and two more developments in Detroit are in the works. 

"We've got about $14 million in new projects," she said.
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