REGIONAL NEWS: Salt Lake City apartment complex to be built out of shipping containers

Eco Box Fabricators, based in Salt Lake City, hopes to make viable affordable housing out of discarded shipping containers. Tuesday Jan. 15, 2019.
/ Trent Nelson / The Salt Lake Tribune

By Tony Semerad | The Salt Lake Tribune

It’s a Utah housing project made of boxes, welcomed for its “outside the box” design.

A Salt Lake City company called Eco Box Fabricators broke ground Friday on what will be the state’s first multi-story apartment complex made of steel shipping containers.

Backers of the Box 500 Apartments project, at 543 South 500 West, say it will stand six stories tall and offer 83 new studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments accessible to renters earning below the area’s median wages.

Company officials and the city’s building inspectors have worked for more than a year on the structural, safety and engineering challenges of stacking disused steel containers into a residential building. Last week, City Hall issued a series of permits to greenlight the project.

“This design is different than any design in the world,” Eco Box Fabricators owner Rod Newman said Friday. “To my knowledge, it’s never been done.”

If all goes as planned, he said, tenants could start moving in as soon as August.

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