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Shipping Container Construction Projects Becoming Popular in Tampa Bay, Orlando Area

Shipping Container Homes in Florida

Restaurants and bars. Housing for the homeless. Unique art venues.  

Shipping container architecture is booming in Florida, specifically in the Tampa Bay area and the west-central part of the state. New projects are popping up all over the region, including Tampa Heights, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, Orlando, Lakeland, Sarasota, Tarpon Springs, and Winter Haven. 

A big reason that the region has seen a significant uptick in shipping container construction use is that the containers are incredibly durable and can withstand potential inclement weather that pops up in the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas.  

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This blog will showcase some interesting ways residents, companies, and commercial developers repurpose shipping containers in the Tampa Bay and Orlando region.

Sparkman Wharf in Tampa Waterfront Designed with Shipping Containers

Designers of a new Tampa Bay downtown waterfront destination were going for a unique, diverse architecture style to draw in an eclectic population. Using shipping containers rather than traditional building materials proved to be a way to achieve the needed vibe. 

Sparkman Wharf has become one of the top community and cultural destinations in the Tampa area. It includes loft-style office space, retail, a dining garden, biergarten, and a recreational lawn.  

The shipping container dining hall is built using 18 containers - nine shipping container kitchens, one container bar, two containers to create the entryway, and six containers stacked on top of the restaurants. 

Developers tapped into the historical nature of Port Tampa Bay's global trade and marine industries by making sure each food spot was housed in a shipping container and visually wrapped by murals inspired by the Florida habitat and painted by a local design firm.  

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Shipping Container Home Trend Hitting Tampa Heights

ABC Action News in Tampa featured a story in March 2019 about the emerging trend where shipping containers are being used for residential homes. The news story talked explicitly about this practice in Tampa Heights, which is Tampa's oldest suburb. 

The reporter spoke with a resident who customized a used shipping container into a new home. After using Play-Doh, he got the idea to build various structures to see what might be possible with shipping containers.

The reporter also discussed Tampa's shipping container trend with the CEO of Sundog Structures, which had one of its shipping container home designs featured on HGTV's "Container Homes" show.

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Tampa's New Peninsularium Immersive Art Attraction to be Made of Shipping Containers

Crab Devil is a Tampa-based multimedia arts collective comprised of members from other local art collectives. They are designing an immersive art experience in Tampa that is expected to be one of the largest, collaborative, multi-disciplinary arts efforts ever in Florida. The "Peninsularium" will house Crab Devil and craft brewery Deviant Libations, LiveWork Studios, and the Tempus Projects gallery.  

Oh, by the way, this project will feature approximately 24 repurposed shipping containers, each 40 feet in length and fully air-conditioned. Artists are being encouraged to create "environments" that convert each shipping container into an immersive interpretation of the elements that make Florida unique.  

According to the blog, "the shipping container format provides the opportunity for installations to be sent on loan or otherwise switched out as space evolves.  

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Shipping Container Home in Tampa Heights

There are approximately 1,000 homeless students in Manatee County, Florida (near the southern portion of Tampa Bay). As far as the students in Hudson Slaughter's construction trades classes at Bayshore High School are concerned, that's 1,000 too many.

So, they are working to solve the problem. Using skills they've learned from the class, students convert traditional shipping containers into fully functioning homes. These roughly 160-square-foot shipping containers will feature a kitchen, bathroom, and living space to the roughly 160-square-foot shipping container.

During a television interview on Bay News 9, Slaughter said the hope is that the shipping container homes would qualify as an accessory dwelling, which would allow for smaller secondary homes on the same lot.

According to the story, Slaughter says these shipping containers could be set in the backyards of sponsoring families and would be close enough to the school to allow the teen to walk. 

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For more ideas on how to repurpose shipping containers in Florida or find a shipping container in the Tampa Bay or Orlando areas, click here. Shipping containers are also available in the Jacksonville and Miami areas.