Shipping container complex coming together

Monday, August 7, 2017
The newest stage of work for owner Tim Steffen’s shipping container apartment complex required a crane to stack the individual containers on top of one another. (Photo by Joseph Hopper)

Citizens of Spencer have watched a unique living space come together piece by piece over the past several months. An apartment complex comprised of repurposed shipping containers has been a project of landowner Tim Steffen for quite some time, and citizens recently got the chance to watch a new stage in progress unfold, as a crane lifted the containers up to form the base structure Friday.

“We’ve been working on the ground on the containers, which is better than working in the air. We’ve got most of the groundwork done, so we’ve stacked them,” Steffen said.

While work has been ongoing, Steffen explained that he hoped that the complex will be complete and ready to house people by next year.

“They’ll hopefully be rentable by next summer,” Steffen said. “We’ll work on them through the winter and that kind of thing, we’ll get them insulated, heating. We’re doing a lot of the work ourselves.”

He continued, “They’re going to be initially four apartments, then there’ll be a space down below for offices,” Steffen said. “The apartments will be probably 800 square feet each, maybe one to two bedroom.”

Steffen said that the idea for the unusual piece of property came about through owning a unique piece of land.

“It’s a unique piece of property. It kind of transitions between the business area and the light industrial areas to the west, and we’ve owned the property for probably 20-plus years and just have not had a good plan to do something with it, and we thought this would be a good use for it,” Steffen said. “That particular area lends itself to that with the industrial type of look.”

As the project continues to evolve, Steffen shared the work he’s done so far has been enjoyable.

“It’s been a fun project,” Steffen said. “I like to weld for a hobby, and they’re very structurally solid. We are going to paint the outsides and there will be a lot of glass on the south exposure for windows and things like that, it’ll be very light and airy when it’s complete.”

Spencer City Councilman At Large George Moriarty shared that he would be looking forward to seeing the final product.

“I’ve seen pictures of what they can do with those and it’s quite impressive,” Moriarty said. “I think it’ll surprise people (when it’s completed).”

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