SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Friday, the final piece was put into place on a six-story apartment complex in Salt Lake City built solely out of shipping containers.
The Box 500 Apartments are located at 534 S. 500 West. The design process started back in 2017 and ground was broken early last year.
"We had an earthquake right in the middle of it, but we kept working through the earthquake, through the pandemic," said Bill Whitney, the structural engineer in charge of the project. "It's been an interesting project, to say the least."
The containers are made of steel and very heavy, said Whitney. It was a downside during construction, but it did come with an advantage.
This is earthquake-proof. I don't have any problem saying that to anyone," Whitney said. "This is built like a tank. It's very safe."
With lumber prices skyrocketing, the developers say their design using eco-friendly materials will save Utahns hundreds in rent.
"With our housing problem that we've got for affordability, we thought, you know, maybe we can make sense of container housing in Utah," said owner Rod Newman.
Newman was inspired by similar projects in Amsterdam, and said he hopes his project will help people rethink the way affordable housing can be done.
The complex will include 83 apartments with studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom options. Reusing existing materials for construction will enable The Box to meet Housing and Urban Development guidelines for affordable housing, Newman said.
When we're talking $950 for a two-bedroom apartment, you can't get that anywhere in this state for brand new apartments," Newman said.
They'll still have to put the roof on and finish the interiors of the apartments, Newman said, but he hopes the units will be ready to rent by June.
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