Would you work in a shipping container?
Apr 25, 2017
Almost 10 million square feet of office space is being built in North Texas.
But Fort Worth architect Matthijs Melchiors can safely say that the small office park he's starting construction on next week will be something totally different.
Melchiors is building his project just south of downtown of old shipping containers.
"The idea started about a year ago when we were driving through a neighborhood of Fort Worth poised for new development, but currently under developed," Melchiors said. "We found some property for sale."
The 3-story, 15,000-square-foot office project is being constructed with 40 shipping containers on a vacant block just south of downtown Fort Worth. The sturdy steel containers are connected bolted together and windows, doors and stairs are added.
Each of the "offices" in the Connex Office Park will be about 160 square feet and will start at $850 a month.
Along with the workspace, the project will offier tenants meeting rooms, conference space and a gathering area the developer is calling "The Urban Porch".
The project will be powered with solar panels and wind turbines.
"My affinity with using recycled materials goes back a long time," Melchiors said. "Having grown up in The Netherlands, I grew up with the idea of being sustainable and mindful of our environment.
"We try to incorporate as much recycled materials as possible," he said. "It is all about sustainability."
More than a half dozen of the 30 or so office spaces ave already been spoken for.
The City of Fort Worth has agreed to provide more than $80,000 in tax increment finance district funding for the unique development.
While planning the pocket office park, the builders traveled to the Netherlands to see a student housing complex in Amsterdam that is constructed out of the same shipping containers.
In the U.S., builders have latched onto the ubiquitous shipping boxes to build everything from lake houses and urban mansions to homeless shelters.
A developer in Dallas' Cedars neighborhood is working on an apartment project that uses several shipping containers, too.