Tallest North American building made from shipping containers to open in downtown Phoenix

One of the most sustainable apartment buildings in downtown Phoenix is set to open next week.

Just one year ago, the land where Ida on McKinley now stands, located near 3rd Street and McKinley, was an empty lot. Now, it is home to a six-story development that was built from re-purposed shipping containers. At 85 feet tall, the 18-unit apartment building is the tallest building of its kind in North America.

"Because of the codes in the U.S., it’s very difficult to get through that process, so we’ve maxed it out," said Brian Stark, founder of Local Studio, the company behind the building's design and development. "It’s going to be tough to get even taller than this."

Stark said it is important to think about being innovative, while also thinking about sustainability.

"This building was built where there is 615,000 pounds of steel in this building that didn’t have to be made, but it was already in existence," said Stark.

The development also features a rainwater reclamation system and solar panels around the building, including solar-shaded sidewalk canopies.

"If more developers did that, you can imagine us having shaded side all across the city, taking advantage of that energy, and that energy is going towards the tenants on the ground floor, so it’s not just we’re capturing that for ourselves as the building owners. We are giving that to our tenants. They will have almost no electrical costs," said Stark.

The building is already leased for five years to a company called Sonder, which they will operate as short-term rentals.

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