MELBOURNE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – There’s a lot of beautiful things to see in the growing Eau Gallie Arts District in Brevard County, from oversized murals to innovative art galleries. Now, a first-of-its-kind development is in the works to replace Brevard County’s first theater, with a giant stack of industrial shipping containers.
Local developers Anthony Romero and Wayne Walton are behind the LaCroix Lofts, a unique 30-unit, industrial-styled housing project.
“We really wanted to incorporate the name the LaCroix Theater into the project,” Anthony Romero explained.
Eau Gallie development to use repurposed cargo containers
That project will likely be constructed with more than 150 re-purposed shipping containers. Early renderings call for each 1,200-square-foot, one-bedroom loft to be constructed with four carved up containers.
“Not only does the market need good rental housing, but the market has a demand for something different, and truly unique,” Walton said.
If the project goes through, it would be the first cargo container construction project in Brevard County, but not the country. In bigger cities, like Los Angeles, they’ve been used to make homes for homeless veterans. In Detroit, they have been used to create three-story loft apartments, and in Colorado, 4,000-square-foot home was built entirely out of nine shipping containers.
“In the arts district, we like a blend of one foot in history, and another in the future, and this is a good example of that,” said art gallery owner, Derek Gores.
These developers said they are in talks with an experienced cargo container builder Sun Dog Structures, out of Tampa, and each of their units will have custom-curated art inside, to attract tenants, particularly young young engineers.
“They don’t see themselves in a residential neighborhood or the condos that we have.”
It’s too early for pricing, say the developers, but using resusable containers will cut construction costs. And get this, the entire seven-story structure can be assembled on site in just three days.
The developers are in talks with the city to get their site plan approved, but they are hoping to begin pre-leasing by the middle of the year, and have the project finished by early 2018.