Inside a shipping container apartment in Amsterdam.2007 AFP
"A lot of us young professionals in the area would stuff as many people as possible in for lower rent – so that was the goal," said Davies as she walked through the site pointing out features designed to satisfy the needs of twenty-somethings. "Everyone has their own bathroom, takes care of their own space, but they [also] have their kitchen, living, dining, [and] common area to hang out in at night."
Each floor has a six-bedroom apartment. When SeaUA is complete it will house 18 people, one person per container.
"If I built the same traditional brick building with this many units, I'd be in the $200 per square foot [price range] now I am in the $100s.” said Price, who is the principal architect. “That's a big game-changer because that can offset costs over time and keep rents stable."
Shipping containers are cheaper than traditional building materials. Second-hand, they can cost as little as $2,000. There is also a glut of inventory: more than 700,000 containers are sitting empty across the country.
"It is cheaper to actually build a new one in China and ship new things [to the USA] than to send it back empty," said Price.