WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A community of nine stand-alone apartments built out of shipping containers will be completed by the end of July and residents can start moving in Aug. 1.
"This is mixing art, architecture, and functionality," said Leslie Smith, the developer behind the project.
Smith said the apartment homes go by many names: "Cargominiums, shipping container homes, tiny homes."
The site on Queens Street called The Cargo District bills itself as Wilmington's first container community. All units are pre-leased.
"Initially, we thought that it would be millennials and younger type folks who want to downsize, but it's really been all ages," said Jessica Pham about the future residents. "People that are new to the area, and just looking to downsize, older people who are looking to retire and travel a lot, but want a small, flagship home."
Each 600-square foot unit is air-conditioned with heated concrete floors and glass doors.
Downstairs, the living room and kitchen area will contain stainless steel appliances with matte black fixtures.
Upstairs, a bedroom and bathroom area has a glass shower and walk-in closet with a stacked washer and dryer unit.
Each container apartment also has a private balcony and a reading nook.
"There's far more moving pieces to this than there would be if we just did conventional construction," said Smith. "If we used conventional construction, the truth is, this would probably be done."
The rent for a container apartment is $1,050 per month, and includes water, sewer, and trash.
After this nine-unit site is completed, the developer plans to begin work on another nearby housing site and local businesses.
"We're actually negotiating a deal with a coffee shop here," said Smith, who also referenced several restaurants that might be built using shipping containers in Wilmington. "So moving beyond these two blocks is certainly where we're headed. If it's going to be a cargo district, then obviously we need to expand that."