Urban housing is constantly evolving. Whether it’s modular homes in Los Angeles or micro-apartments in New York. As cities become more dense and as affordable housing becomes, well, less affordable, alternative forms of living are rapidly popping up. The trend has reached Newark, as the Lincoln Park district is set to be the home of the city’s first housing unit using shipping containers.

Shipping Container Homes in Lincoln Park

A collaboration between Cor-10 Concepts LCC and Community Assist Preservation Corporation have submitted plans to build three-bedroom, two-bathroom condos with 18 shipping containers. An empty piece of land on Halsey Street has been marked as the construction zone. The three-story unit is being proposed as an affordable option compared to typical city apartments and homes by cutting construction costs and time by 15 percent. A projected price tag between $225,000 to $250,000 hopes to lure first-time home buyers, a demographic that continues to flock to urban environments.

“Lincoln Park is a trendy area with deep cultural roots. The neighborhood in general appeals to younger buyers who have a particular interest in art and tech. We think this unique project can provide many of the things this market is looking for and give first-time home buyers an affordable option.” – Siree Morris, principal at Cor-10 Concepts.

Lincoln Park, one of Newark’s most historical neighborhoods, continues to evolve on the heels of a construction boom. The 11-acre, four-block area is steadily progressing in accordance with the wants and needs of millennials, many of whom are looking for the conveniences of Newark’s suburban counterparts but in an urban environment. It’s as complex as creating well-paying jobs and as simple as having a grocery store down the street. The momentum has begun to build in Newark, something developers hope they can capitalize on. Whispers of “becoming the next Brooklyn” are becoming louder, and the transitioning of shipping containers from the port to the residential spaces of the Park personifies that.

The work has just begun for Cor-10 Concepts. It’s the first project of its kind, labeled as “exploratory,” and must be approved by the city of Newark and the Department of Community Affairs before construction can begin. It would be the first multiple-family shipping container unit in New Jersey. Developers hope to start construction in late 2015 and lay foundations for similar projects in the future.

“We recognized there was a need for alternative housing in Newark. Building the first multi-family shipping container unit in the area will help fulfill that need,” said Arthur Hood, a principal at Cor-10 Concepts. “This development could lead to future developments and further the progress of the Lincoln Park neighborhood and Newark as a whole.”

Backers of the project are hoping it can energize the housing market in Newark, and meanwhile provide a unique, cool option to potential suitors. Just like much of the country, New Jersey’s largest city is hoping to jolt it’s slow, but steady, recovery from the housing crisis. Experimenting with shipping container units is just one step in that process, but an important one, as cities like Washington D.C. and Boston have found success in doing so. The current project will likely set the precedent going forward, so its success is vital for growth in Lincoln Park, Newark and beyond.

Shipping Container Homes: Quick Facts

  • Each condo will be just over 1,000 square feet
  • Made of 18 shipping containers
  • Five containers per condo, three for the stairwell
  • Save on energy costs via spray-foam insulation
  • Welded with concrete/steel beams
  • Ceilings will be 8-feet 10-inches high
  • Large windows provide natural lighting and ventilation
  • Same amenities as a typical wood-framed structure
  • Construction costs will be just under $100 per square foot