A new office park in North Fort Worth is built entirely of storage containers that are usually seen on trains, and some say it might be the future of construction for new businesses – and even homes.
"It's just a different thing that you don't see anywhere,” said Paula Pacanins, owner of Container King, the company that built the Fort Worth Design District.
It may be the largest such project in the country, she said.
The latest news from around North Texas.
In all, 120 containers were fastened together, side by side and even on top of each other, to create a small shopping center.
Pacanins is a former radio sales executive who got into buying and selling storage containers, largely for construction companies.
Developer Ron Sturgeon, who owns the complex, approached her with what sounded like a crazy idea at first -- making them into retail space.
"I was like, 'Wow, can we do this?'” she said. “It was mind blowing."
But she said it makes sense and the idea is already popular in Europe.
The boxes are cost-efficient since they’re already built and good for the environment too.
"You're reusing something that might normally go to a landfill,” Pacanins said. “It's an innovative concept. It's just something you don't see everywhere."
And there’s energy savings, she said, because foam insulation is sprayed between the metal containers and the inside walls, making them cheaper to heat and cool.
A salon is the first big business to go in.
Next door, Taria Doane just opened a women's clothing store.
"We like it because it's energy efficient,” she said. “And it's nice and small so we don't need a lot of space. And it's convenient."
The units come in different sizes and the containers can be hooked together to create a larger space.
Pacanins said she is talking about building houses out of the shipping containers in McKinney for Habitat for Humanity.
"It's so unique,” she said. “How could you not be interested?"