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Shipping container housing project to go up near downtown Tucson

Shipping container housing project to go up near downtown Tucson

A young Tucson couple is setting out to revolutionize the housing market.

Janelle Briggs and Ryan Egan expect to start construction on their first Stackhouse development next year.

The patent-pending Stackhouse is a steel structure with slots for shipping-container homes.

Homebuyers can pick their container and rent a slot in the Stackhouse, which will be located near the head of the snake bridge at Broadway and Euclid Avenue.

The structure will hold two units per floor with five to seven stories and is expected to be about 50-feet high. A special crane will lift and place the containers in their slot.

After the Tucson development, Briggs and Egan will build Stackhouses in California, Colorado and Washington state and aspire to be in every state one day, offering members of the Stackhouse community the opportunity to take their homes with them when they move or travel.

“No one has done this before and we know this is coming to the market,” said Briggs, co-founder and business strategist for Stackhouse. “We wanted to be the first to introduce it in urban cores and tech centers.

“It’s a no-brainer to give it a shot.”

Amazon recently began selling prefabricated shipping container houses that only need a slab to sit on and plug in the sewer, water and electricity connections.

Manufactured by MODS International, the $36,000 homes cost $4,500 to deliver and come fully furnished. The 40-foot containers offer 320 square feet of living space.

In recognition of the tiny house appeal, last year Pima County waived certain building codes such as minimum dwelling, room and ceiling dimensions and stairway requirements for loft areas.

Briggs’ partner, Egan, a commercial real estate broker, said he is excited about the idea of providing affordable housing with these developments.

“I feel like this could help so many people,” he said.

They are working with manufacturers to get the cost of the home in the $35,000 to $40,000 range, which will include full-size kitchen appliances. Rent in the Stackhouse, which will include utilities, cable and Internet, will start at $500 a month for a ground slot and climb to $1,000 for the top floor.

Each slot will have a wraparound deck and each structure will feature a rooftop deck for residents to share.

Stackhouse membership will entitle homeowners to bid on slots in different locations or trade spaces with their neighbors. The cost of the membership has not been determined.

The idea of such a model came to them when they were looking to downsize their own living space, Briggs said.

“We loved the idea of tiny housing and found so many options, including shipping containers placed on our property,” she said. “But we thought we should be able to take our home with us wherever we go.”

The duo plans to invest about $650,000 on the Tucson development and is working with interested investors.

They plan to target first-time homebuyers and active retirees who like the idea of taking their home with them as they move around the country, visiting grandchildren in different states.

“They still want to sleep in their own bed,” Briggs said.

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Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at

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