Young Professionals in Oakland Create ‘Shipping Container Village’ to Beat High Rent Costs
There’s a difference between being creative and being revolutionary. A pair of young professionals in the Bay Area are straddling that line, and they could be changing the way people look at affordable housing forever.
According to the Daily Mail, San Francisco residents in their 20s and 30s are flocking to Oakland to reserve their spot in Containercopia, a shipping container village where custom containers can be rented for just $600 a month.
The village was created by San Francisco residents Luke Iseman and Heather Stewart. The pair purchased a shipping container for $2,300 from the nearby Port of Oakland, and the rest was history.
Soon after buying the container, the couple rented a half-acre of land. Eventually, their friends began to take notice of how much potential the idea had. This paved the way for Containercopia.
Along with their friends, Iseman and Stewart invested $425,000 into an empty lot to build the “containerhood,” though zoning ordinances prevented them from renting it out to others. Instead, they took the operation to an abandoned warehouse, and still use the original empty lot to grow vegetables for the village.
“It’s pretty much my dream, post-apocalyptic, cyber punk set up,” said Iseman, 32, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and works in technology.
Iseman added that the genius of the plan lies in the durability of the shipping containers, considering they were built to withstand harsh weather during long trips overseas.
“You have a watertight box that is way more structurally sound that you can possibly need. They have been stacked in hurricanes, in terms of a house they are way overkill,” he said.
Shipping containers have been a hot commodity as of late as more people begin to customize them for different projects, including portable offices and pop-up shops.
According to Digital Trends, the shipping container craze extends far beyond the U.S.
Full-blown container mansions can be seen in Brazil, Costa Rica, and Chile. The structural composition of the home in Chile enables the owners to use the natural air flow from outside, saving money on monthly heating and cooling bills.
As for Containercopia, young professionals in San Francisco find that the $600-a-month containers are more than reasonable. For the same exact price, they would be forced to sleep in a six-to-a-room apartment outfitted with bunk beds.
San Francisco’s rent prices are second to only New York City, and Iseman thinks his idea could inspire other expensive cities to follow suit.
“If we can do it in one of the highest-cost places in the world,” Iseman said, “people can do this anywhere.”