There are millions of shipping containers crossing the sea as we speak. These boxes carry anything from food to toxic chemicals. However, have you thought about the shipping containers that are lying around being unused? Well MikeN Development has, and the company has an innovative recycling plan to introduce to a neighborhood in Nashville.

HR Properties and MiKeN Development are teaming up to turn shipping containers into micro apartments in the Nations neighborhood in Nashville. “We lock them together. Whatever you can do with Legos, you can do with these,” said Michael Kenner, founder of MikeN Development.

recycled shipping container development

The company anticipates building roughly 10 apartments, each 40-foot-long container converted into a 320-square-foot apartment. According to Kenner, his New York-based supplier, SG Blocks, will slice windows and doorways into the steel walls. He says once the interior is completed with insulation, flooring and drywall, the apartments will be indistinguishable from ordinary construction.

Twenty-one shipping containers were recently installed at Nashville’s oneC1TY development. OneC1TY development is an urban community that caters to the healthcare, life sciences and technology sectors of the global economy. Its main objective is to create space for restaurants, retail stores and events. The area that will house these commercial properties is called C1TY BLOX.

“Seeing the project come to fruition before my eyes in my own backyard has been monumental,” says Stevan Armstrong, President and Chief Operation Officer of SG Blocks. “C1TY BLOX will soon be enjoyed by both locals and those traveling through Nashville and we are thrilled that our sustainable process has helped to transform what was once an underutilized location into a lively retail and even village in such a short amount of time.”

You may be asking yourself, is building with these containers truly safe and sustainable? Here are some facts that may address some of your concerns:

  • Construction is about 40 percent faster and 20 percent cheaper than traditional construction.
  • Steel is structurally stronger than a wood frame.
  • These containers are mold proof, fire proof and termite proof.
  • Steel is chemically engineered to resist rust.
  • Recycling containers can result in using less energy.

We would also like to note that SG Blocks is a premiere innovator who works with architects, developers and builders to help build safe, strong and green structures using code-engineered shipping containers.

The first re-use of a shipping container may be for a restaurant on 12th Avenue South in Nashville’s Gulch district called 404 Kitchen. Kenner plans to offer his micro apartments as “workforce housing” with rents starting at $700.

A shipping container is only typically used for transporting materials. But HR Properties and MikeN Development are using their imagination by reusing this simple box and turning it into something extraordinary. However, this is not the first time a container was transformed.

Here are a few examples:

shipping container housing

Cozy cabin located in Quebec, Canada Source: Buzzfeed


Shipping container guest house

Shipping container guest house

You may not be able to use our dumpsters as houses, but if you need a dumpster rental in Nashville, check out our website!