Affordable micro-apartments made from shipping containers planned for St. Pete

A Bay Area startup has big plans for those looking to live tiny, proposing an apartment complex made entirely of shipping containers in downtown St. Petersburg.

"Each unit is going to be a 40-foot shipping container," explained Brandon Casten, co-founder of Path Communities.

The company’s vision includes 31 micro-apartments, with 320 square feet of living space each.

"For a subset of the population, this is not only going to be an affordable, nice place to live in the middle of the city, but the size of the unit will be a feature and not a bug," Casten said.

Image courtesy Path Communities at Booker Creek

The goal is 'little luxury.'

Right now Casten, his business partner, Scott Brien, and their team are focused on designing the interior of the apartments to maximize space and make a 40-by-8-foot space feel as large as possible. 

It turns out, the property has a lot to do with that.

"You really want to make the outdoor space an extension of the unit itself," Casten said. "We’re really gonna open up back to the backyard and we’re gonna try to incorporate permaculture design so we’re gonna have some fruit trees and some gardening in the backyard."

Image courtesy Path Communities at Booker Creek

Located at 17th Street N and Burlington Avenue N, Path Communities at Booker Creek will be part of the Intown West Community Redevelopment Area, just outside the Grand Central District.

Two-thirds of the units will be affordable, workforce-designated housing, meaning lower rent.

"There’s a lot of giant apartment complexes going up that aren’t affordable for the average person," said Casten. "And this is gonna look, feel, and act very differently from the other developments in the city."

Work halts, lawsuits pile up for company building container homes in Tampa

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against SUNdog Structures, whose CEO says his company ran up against permitting issues with container homes being built in Tampa.

Rent is expected to range from under $1,000 to $1,300 a month.

Path Communities plans to file for permits in the next few weeks and hopes to have tenants moving into the micro-apartments in late fall.