Developer Using Shipping Containers To Create Tulsa's Next Hot Spot

Tuesday, June 9th 2015, 11:04 pm
By: News On 6

It's a development trend growing in big cities and internationally, and soon it will come to Tulsa.

What is now an empty lot downtown will soon be a place to shop, eat and listen to live music; and most of the buildings will be made out of shipping containers.

The 14,000-square foot lot near 3rd and Frankfort isn't serving much of a purpose now, but it sits in the middle of a block that is booming with construction and is directly next door to the popular Fur Shop bar.

Developer Casey Stowe said had a vision for the area after a recent trip to London.

"This would be the perfect thing for Tulsa. London, Tulsa, there is one in Dubai I believe," he said.

Now his vision is turning into a reality as The Boxyard, a mix of shops, restaurants and outdoor space made from old shipping containers, is coming to Tulsa.

"It costs a lot to retrofit them, but the containers are relatively cheap because no one knows what to do with them," Stowe said.

Stowe and his business partner Elliot Nelson call the space a retail incubator of sorts with room for up to 30 businesses. It's a way for companies to get in on all that is happening downtown but on a smaller scale.

"We are not a non-profit but we are providing an opportunity to take a chance on that American dream of having your own space, even if you're not ready to make a commitment on a large block of square feet," Stowe said.

The Tulsa Development Authority is selling the land to Nelson Stowe after selecting their concept.

"They really took a chance. This is a non-traditional building and they really saw the vision. They bought into it and got excited and it's a real forward thinking step for them to take," he said.

With 300 apartments planned for within a block and a half of The Boxyard, they think Tulsans will buy into the idea as well.

The Boxyard is set to open in the first quarter of 2016.