Jacksonville-based JWB Real Estate has decided to put a few of the used shipping containers, lying idle at the city’s port docks, to good use. The company will create a three-level modular apartment complex by joining 18 such metal boxes at a plot in the 400 block of East Ashley Street in downtown’s Cathedral District. Each such box will house a micro-unit of 320-square-foot which will have a living room, full-sized bathroom, small bedroom, and kitchen. These hotel room-sized apartments will be available on a monthly rent of $550.
While the exterior of this complex will be fairly different from the traditional houses, the interiors are going to be like any other apartment with framing, insulation, and drywall. JWB Real Estate Capital President Alex Sifakis said that the outside of the containers will be painted and have architectural finishes and maybe a mural on one side as well. Sifakis said that the company will retain the specific appearance of the container but will make them look much better.
Although a lot of local people are excited about the project, a fairly large number think that it is crazy to live inside a box. However, Sifakis isn’t deterred by the negative opinion of the people and believes that there are enough renters out there who’d like to live in his 18-apartment complex. “There’s definitely a market for 18 of them,” he asserted.
The Downtown Development Review Board gave conceptual approval to the project recently. This will be followed by a board meeting in the future where a vote on final design will happen.