44 Comment

  • At first glance, I thought those were port-a-johns attached to the outside on each level. Somehow that would seem appropriate for this project.

    • goaldigger

      HA, thought the same thing. I’m curious to see the inside. I like the idea of affordable housing and recycling materials but jamming this in between nice old single family homes is just obnoxious.

    • That’s what they’ll be using for the bathrooms.

  • Ugh. To the owners: thanks for giving tons of ammo to the “historic district” NIMBYs.
    I wonder… why didn’t the owners just distribute fliers to each of their neighbors with a giant hand flipping the bird? Would have been a cheaper way to get their message across.

    • The block is almost entirely made up of houses being rented to CUA students, which is also the target market for these apartments. I highly doubt they care.

      • I highly suspect they care about resale value.

        • I think this whole “resale” argument is vastly overblown. A person/family who wants to live in Brookland is going to live there, whether or not this container house exists. It’s difficult to be picky when trying to buy an affordable house in a major urban center; you take what you can get.
          When we revisit this block in 10 years, I guarantee all the houses on it will have appreciated at a healthy annual rate. They don’t make more land in the city.

          • I suspect the houses closest to this one will appreciate slightly less than if it had remained in the architectural style of its neighbors.

          • As someone going through the home-buying process now, I can assure you that I don’t care about the appearance of other buildings on the block, at all.

          • Carlosthedwarf, I suspect some people care and some people don’t. It certainly factored into my house-hunting process.

          • I think you’re in the minority, Carlos. Even though the market was extremely tight when I bought my house in Brookland, we passed on some houses that were next to what we perceived as potential nuisance properties (car repair places, commercially-zoned buildings that could turn into god-knows-what in the next few years, etc.) I do not think we are the only ones who view things this way, because those houses always sold for less than properties that were not next to possible nuisances.
            Rightly or wrongly, many people will view shipping container apartments full of college students as a HUGE nuisance 😀 If I lived within sight or sound of this think I would be SO angry.

  • maxwell smart

    kinda hard to judge without seeing them in context – i.e. the rest of the streetscape.

  • Any idea what these will rent for?

  • This just doesn’t work in the context.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I like them.

  • This project really has folks’ panties in a bundle.

  • I like this.

  • Oh, that turned out to be so unsightly! That’s disappointing. I’ve seen some buildings made out of these containers that actually looked really nice on the outside. These ones, especially in that color, just look like a bunch of ugly shipping containers stacked on top of each other. I hope they’re planning on some sort of siding treatment to minimize that look.

    • To be fair, they don’t seem to be done yet. I suppose they could skin them with something more attractive, though based on interviews I’ve seen with the owners (a younger couple that heavily emphasized doing this as cheaply as possible) I do not think that it’s likely.

  • These are hideous. I would be so pissed if I owned a nearby house. The owners of this monstrosity admittedly freely they had no money and this was the cheapest option, and it looks like it.

  • The homes that surround it are charming, making this building look out of place. It also looks too big for the lot. If they had to go with shipping containers, I’d prefer to see a smaller, single family house there rather than a multi. Looking at the old house on Google maps, they should have just rehabbed that or rented for a while till they could afford the right location to build this.

  • Ah, take a break from the kvetching already. Not every new development needs to become a high-end fantasy land for young professionals who can barely afford them.

    This is a modern, modular look, maybe not what we are used to in stodgy DC, but hardly can you call it ugly. If anything I wish they’d chosen a wider palette of bright colors, maybe offset a little, each from the other, like the imperfectly stacked containers in the shipyard scenes in The Wire. I think it could be a blast to live there, if it were done right.

    At the very least I think people should withhold judgment until the builders have finished the job.

    • This project is still ongoing, so I think there’s a good chance the exterior will be decorated differently than what we see here. A brighter palette of colors, ornamentation, etc.

    • clevelanddave

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but oh, you can call it ugly and out of place. Whomever in zoning allowed this to happen should be fired. See other article about putting on a solarium. No solarium but they allow this kind of thing? Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

      • In real estate/development, you can bribe your way to get whatever you want in DC.
        Anyone thinking of doing a renovation or new construction should always have a few crisp $100 bills handy. Cost of doing business.

        • Don’t disagree with your overall point, but I doubt that had anything to do with this. It happens that the lots on that part of 7th Street are zoned C-M-1 because they abut the railroad tracks. I know for certain that this wouldn’t be allowed on my block.

  • What a crock that this is or should be affordable housing. That’s like saying let’s put “them” in steerage. Next up: dumpster housing!

    • “Steerage” – in the ocean liner era – was actually a safe and comfortable no frills way for the poor (“them?”) to travel, helping them save money and go on to new opportunities and for most, eventually more prosperous lives. Ocean liners actually competed to offer better accommodations in steerage because they relied on word of mouth (the Twitter of history) among immigrant groups to keep customers choosing them.

      No one is going to (and no one should) put the poor in a first class cabin on a luxury cruise or the penthouse apt. in the swank neighborhood. They should absolutely be offered safe and affordable dwellings however, and there is nothing wrong with that being a shipping container.

  • Please call it Sunnyvale

  • An article about shipping containers as buildings from one of the nation’s leading building science experts. Informative, humorous analysis; don’t skip the footnotes. http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi078-ship-shape#foot08

    • This is hilarious. I like the cut of his jib.

      • Heh, this guy is funny. “A week does not go by without our office getting a call asking if we have a design to make energy efficient homes out of shipping containers. Our first comment is: ‘Do you really want to do this? What is wrong with a nice wood home?'”

  • I think they seem pretty cool – I would take a modern looking nicely kept property over a rundown ” nice single family home” any day.

  • And a hilarious quote from Crin’s shipping container story = “I think the reason that so many shipping containers are insulated on the inside is that folks want other folks to know that a shipping container was used. I think a lot of folks want everyone to know just how “green” they are. What is the point of being green without being able to brag about it and rub everyone’s nose in it? Why do you think a Prius looks so ugly? Everyone needs to know it is a Prius so they know just how responsible you are… Me, I drive a Porsche because I am a middle-aged man with self-esteem issues.”
    tee hee hee

  • I think this is awesome. Not everything has to look the same. Try reading this:


  • I’ve heard they’ve been rented out already. They have to house the tenants in hotels until they’re done.

    • You are correct Anon. They are currently rented to CUA students who are being housed downtown until the units are finished. Last word is that they need to finish electric work and some ‘housekeeping’ and then they should be ready for move in.

  • Okay, so I just came from visiting the site. I’m not opposed to the style, but it’s out of place. I talked a while to the next door neighbor. Needless to say he’s not happy. He claims they also own the adjacent property and will put up another there.

  • Can I add two of these on top of my rowhome as a popup? Would that be the worst pop-up of all time?

Comments are closed.