"It's pretty much my dream post-apocalyptic cyberpunk setup," says Luke Iseman near his 160-square-foot box home. With a camp stove and a fridge "that's a really simple hack," his miniature shipping container nightmare chamber sits alongside 11 others in a warehouse at an undisclosed location in Oakland. File under: Apartment Sadness?
Bloomberg reports that the 31-year-old cool guy Wharton graduate has been chased from two other locations by the authorities. But, like an idiot, Iseman has no plans to give up. “I’d rather ask forgiveness than ask permission,” the entrepreneur says in high Silicon Valley fashion.
Iseman rakes in $1,000 a month for each of the 11 structures docked in the 17,000-square-foot warehouse he rents for $9,100. His tenants include a Facebook engineer, a SolarCity programmer, and a bicycle messenger. This, as Iseman calls it, is "Containertopia."
Tired of living in the Mission and paying rent at a legal apartment, Iseman bought his metal boxes for $2,300 each.“What we’re doing is converting industrial waste into a house in a couple of weeks,” Iseman said.
In the "open source" ethos, Iseman wants to sell "developers kits" to "monetize" his ideas. "Reclaimed" shipping containers, as used at places such as Hayes Valley's proxy, are a cost-effective way to build simple structures, and they're definitely having quite a moment. If you'd like to get in on the fad, just send Iseman $20,000 and he'll send you a fully furnished one.
If you'd like, you can take an unnecessarily long video peek into "Containertopia." It's a magical place where Iseman says (about ten times) that he has "such permission to experiment."
Legally, Iseman has no such permission.