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Oil boom-inspired housing

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The shale boom has created thousands of jobs in oil and gas rich regions in the United States. It has also created housing shortages.

David Monnich, a developer in San Antonio, has found what he hopes will be a permanent solution for more than just oil workers: turn old shipping containers into modern apartments. The apartments, which are mostly two-bedroom units with 840 square feet of living space, are made from two shipping containers, reported the Houston Chronicle.

The Eagle Ford Shale region in Texas, which has undergone massive growth, is suffering a housing shortage. And not just for oil workers.

Monnich doesn't see this 70-unit apartment complex development, which is located in Encinal, as a so-called man camp that will only house temporary oil field workers. Instead, the project is geared towards long-term housing for families in the area, Monnich wrote in an email.

By June, Monnich's company Texas Development will be renting apartments. Monnich also is working on finalizing a product line by July that will allow anyone to order one of these shipping container apartments online.

Shipping containers have popped up in retail and residential developments before. Starbucks used a recycled shipping container for a coffee shop in Seattle and a four-story $2.3 million condo development in Detroit will consist of 93 stacked containers when it's finished sometime this year.

Repurposed shipping containers have even been squeezed under overpasses in Hong Kong, a place where housing shortages abound. Supporters of the Hong Kong project, which used shipping containers to build a district affairs office, see the structure as a starting point to demonstrate to the public the feasibility of using the empty space below overpasses for residential and office use.

Photo: Red Wings Aerials via David Monnich

— By on March 4, 2013, 4:53 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure