Shipping Container Apartments for Rent, Phoenix, Arizona

Floor plan
About Wesley James
About StarkJames

ProjectContainers on Grand
ArchitectWesley James
Area5920 SF (8x740 SF)
LocationPhoenix, Arizona
PhotographyChris Cordell

Description by owners

Each of these meticulously constructed residences are built from 2+ shipping containers, totaling 740 square feet of commercial grade construction - shipping container apartments for rent. The exteriors display the industrial origin of the steel containers, while the interiors feature all of the conveniences of a modern apartment. Containers on Grand is located along Historic Grand Avenue in the heart of the artistic Triangle neighborhood of Downtown Phoenix.

Each of the eight living units features a slightly unique layout with contemporary styling. The units feature oversized steel windows, full 8ft ceilings, glossy original marine grade wood flooring, a full modern kitchen, & in-unit washer/dryer. Additional conveniences such as wall mounted 55" smart TVs, electronic access, built in desk workspaces, and reserved parking make these the ultimate city residences. The exterior grounds include a patio area w/ bbq grill, shade landscaping and bike racks. Furnished options available.

Contact info

Address1128 NW Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85007, United States
Phone+1 602-888-1719
24HR Emergency Line+1 623-398-3542

Description by dwell

A rare multi-unit shipping container apartment building is ready for occupancy in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Containers on Grand, designed and built by StarkJames, forges eight one-bedroom apartments out of 16 standard 40-foot-by-8-foot containers.

Hundreds of thousands of shipping containers sit idle in port cities, prompting their rediscovery by architects as a highly dynamic and interchangeable medium. But, says architect Wesley James, they are usually applied to single-family homes.

"Containers aren’t expensive or difficult to work with in and of themselves," says James. "But it gets expensive and complicated bringing them up to code. It’s not yet an accepted building material." Extra caution was taken during planning to satisfy codes. The containers were then joined and retrofitted with insulation, wiring, plumbing, windows, and drywall.

The shipping container apartments for rent are 740 square feet and will rent for about $1,000 a month, beginning December 28, 2015. "We’re proud to have kept costs in line with conventional construction," James notes. "It’s enabled rents to be at or even slightly below market-rate for the area."

Description by cbsnews

A stack of shipping containers sitting in a lot in an industrial section of Phoenix has some developers thinking inside the box.

The structures usually used to transport cargo have been transformed into eight apartments. Scuff marks, old serial numbers and shipping company logos remain, but a look inside each unit reveals a 740-square-foot modern home.

"It doesn't even feel like a shipping container. It's also insulated really well," said Patrick Tupas, who is in the Air Force and along with his wife signed a one-year lease for $1,000 a month. "It just feels like a regular apartment."

Housing and retail projects using the containers have popped up in recent years in Las Vegas, Detroit and Washington, D.C., as developers and cities try to cater to millennials and baby boomers who want to live closer to the cultural offerings in urban hubs.

To meet those needs, "cargotecture" has become a quick way to fill urban housing gaps.

"They are faster, cheaper and now potentially have much more of an aesthetic range," said Dana Cuff, director of cityLAB, a think tank at UCLA that looks at architecture and urban growth. Some mask their shipping origins, but the ones in Phoenix don't, she said.

"They're celebrating them," Cuff said.

In the Containers on Grand shipping container apartments for rent in Phoenix, Arizona, the architecture firm, StarkJames, designed the apartments in a way that retained the corrugated metal exteriors. Each unit is made of two containers, but inside there are no signs of the cargo hauling days.

The walls are painted white. The original wood flooring is encased in epoxy. There is enough space for a bedroom and living area.

The two rooms are connected by two separate hallways. One hallway has the kitchen, oven and some counter space. The other one has closet space and a nook. There is also a washer and dryer unit. Monthly rent averages about $1,000.

All but two of the eight units are occupied. One is being marketed as a vacation rental.

In Washington's Brookland neighborhood, university students and young professionals have been living in a four-story housing cluster since September 2014. In Las Vegas, containers make up the building blocks of a downtown retail complex.

In Detroit, Three Squared Construction is working on $14 million in new projects involving shipping containers because they save time. The company erected the city's first residential shipping-container development in April 2015.

The three-story shipping container building is used as a showcase with the top floor periodically rented out. CEO Leslie Horn said there's been a high demand among millennials and "empty-nesters."

With containers, they only save about 5 percent in lumber costs but even more in terms of time spent.

"You're saving a lot of time by getting it done faster," Horn said.

StarkJames, of Scottsdale, is on track to build 12 more container homes in downtown Phoenix that will be stacked three-stories high. Despite the progress, they still get ribbing from others in the industry.

"We work with a lot of other developers," architect Brian Stark said. "They always ask 'How are the garbage can homes going?'"

But the firm is taking the teasing in stride. The downtown development will be called The Oscar after Oscar the Grouch, whose trash can makes him the only container-dweller on "Sesame Street."


The shipping container apartments face a landscaped common courtyard. The site is an irregular trapezoid, a fact the zig-zagging sidewalks reflect well.

Floor-to-ceiling windows front each unit, with sections of shipping container wall folded out and fixed in place as part of the shading strategy.

The shipping containers are fused side-by-side, giving each apartment a 16-foot width. They are then stacked in four pairs with wrought, industrial-style exterior staircases in-between. To spare living space and installation headaches, a cinder block core houses utilities and a bathroom for each unit.

The living room of an unoccupied apartment showcases refinished original hardwood flooring. The joint between the two shipping containers is left exposed.

The lone furnished unit, which is slated to be an Airbnb rental, features a RAR rocker and two LCW chairs by Charles and Ray Eames.

The galley kitchen, which includes a washer/dryer combo, separates the living room and bedroom.

Nine-foot ceilings, white walls, and IKEA furniture define the bedroom, located at the back of the container.

Floor plan


About Wesley James

Wesley is a licensed architect and also holds an Arizona KB-1 contractors license. He founded LINE LAB in 2016 where he brings together architecture, construction, development, technology, reconciliation ecology and immersive experience design. Wesley Co-Founded Urban Nature Society, a non-profit organization that seeks to develop and implement ways of making the built environment more hospitable to native species.

Address3636 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018 USA
Phone+1 602-730-1209

About StarkJames

Address6922 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
Phone+1 480-994-7340

More shipping container homes in Arizona:
3000 sq ft Shipping Container House, Phoenix, Arizona
Two-story 2000 sqft Shipping Container Home, Arizona

Shipping Container Apartments for Rent, Phoenix, Arizona