Shipping containers re-purposed for self-storage

GreenSpace Holdings, a Houston-based self-storage developer, has launched its first project using recycled shipping containers to save money and help the environment.

The company has broken ground on a 1,017-unit facility to be operated by CubeSmart at 2515 Westminister Road in Pearland. Site work is just getting underway on a two-acre parcel in a growing area with new shopping centers near Pearland Parkway north of FM 518.

In the coming weeks, some 325 used shipping containers will arrive on site as the main building component of the climate-controlled facility. The containers will be arranged in a way that renders much of the concrete and structural steel typically used in such a project unnecessary. The building will be dressed up with stone, concrete masonry, glass and stucco.

Getting the containers won't be a problem because the U.S. imports more containerized goods than it exports. The company's local supplier has 14,000 containers on the yard at any given time. GreenSpace Holdings will pay about $1,500 a pop, or $480,000, for materials for the Pearland facility.

GreenSpace Holdings hopes to duplicate the process at 50 self-storage facilities across major cities in the U.S. over the next seven years. The company plans to retain some of the buildings, which generate cash flow, and sell some to investors.