San Diego

Shipping Container Units Could Bring Housing Relief for Homeless Veterans

Makana Properties, LLC wants to build homes out of 21 shipping containers for homeless veterans.

A local real estate company wants to build a first-of-its-kind apartment complex made out of shipping containers reserved for homeless veterans.

The housing project is being proposed by developers Michael Copley, Jr. and Doug Holmes, partners in the real estate company Makana Properties, LLC. The project is being considered for the vacant lot at 2941 Imperial Ave. in Logan Heights. Twenty-one containers will be stacked on top of each other and turned into homes.

The units would be 320-square-foot in size and have their own patio, kitchen and bathroom. Although the units will be built from metal shipping containers, the walls will be insulated and have interior drywall.

The project also calls for commercial space with space for public meeting rooms.

Out of the 21 units available, 11 of would be for households classified as very-low income and to households making 80 percent of the area median income. While the remaining 10 will be priced at market-rate.

The owner of a nearby coffee shop says he is excited about the prospect of new customers, but is concerned with the limited space.

“It was really exciting just because it's something you don't see a lot of in San Diego,” said Steven Williamson with Imperial Grounds Coffee. “But then there's a couple drawbacks where there's limited parking for the units. There's nine parking spaces for 21 units.”

The shipping container homes could be ready for tenants as soon as April 2019 given the shortened construction time needed to build them.

Information on how they will assign units has yet to be released. The real estate company still needs to get permits and permission from the Housing Commission.

There are already two similar projects in Los Angeles and in Orange County.

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