DETROIT (WXYZ) - It's a move to support Detroit's tourism industry in a novel way--piece by piece, you might say. Project organizers say shipping containers may hold the key to future overnight stays.
When an old idea could use some outside the box thinking, look no further than Shel Kimen. She's not in the business of shipping, but the container she's opening at Eastern Market is the first piece to building something big.
"This is a demo unit." said Kimen, "Not so much of a room, but to show the experience, and to show what shipping container architecture can look like."
"Oh that crate?" said Mike Scherzer, who works on Eastern Market's Shed Five, "It's supposed to be a house or something. They make excellent houses, and I've seen it done."
Kimen is aspiring to build a hotel made entirely of shipping containers.
"I mean the fact is there are hundreds of thousands of these stacked up all across the country." said Kimen. "It's cheaper to leave them here and make a new one in China than to send an empty one back."
Kimen is working on the first piece at Eastern Market by laying wood panel doors and playe glass windows along the interior, eventually creating the hotel lobby. Kimen hopes to open the lobby portion for the public by Eastern Market's Flower Day, May 19th.
"So when people are visiting the city and come to stay here, they're surrounded by the real and deep, soulful culture of Detroit." said Kimen.
The plan is to build the rest of the hotel at Dequindre Cut, set to open the summer of 2014. The finished project will be called the Collision Works Hotel.
For more information on Collision Works Hotel, head to http://detroitcollisionworks.com .