Bryan Kristof, owner of Coworx, stands in the doorway of one of the containers inside the new Coworx building at 1608 Queen St. in an area of Wilmington dubbed The Cargo District. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
Wilmington's Cargo District is starting to take shape.
A planned shipping container village under way along the corners of South 16th and Castle streets, the project is under development by Leslie Smith, who owns property in the area and has a subcontracting company, L S Smith Inc.
Smith announced Thursday that Coworx and SISDigital will be among the first companies to join The Cargo District, setting up shop in an office at 1608 Queen St. with an anticipated opening of Aug. 1. In addition to offices and co-working spaces, the proposed design for the district, dubbed "Cargo" because of the use of shipping containers, includes apartments, live/work units, a coffee shop and a food truck park.
"The vision for The Cargo District
began a few years ago, so it's very exciting to see the project start to come to life with the opening of the new Coworx space," Smith said in a news release. "People are really starting to take notice of this unique concept, and we've had great responses so far.
Coworx owner Bryan Kristof and director Jacqueline Chase are working on recruiting tenants for private offices in shipping containers and rooms, along with computer stations, in the new Coworx co-working building at 1608 Queen St. Two of the 20-foot shipping containers at the building now are from Hanjin, a bankrupt shipping company, and a third was used as an office at Sawmill Point, an apartment complex on the northern Cape Fear River.
"Since 2011, Coworx
has provided creative co-working and office space options," Kristof said. "The Cargo District is a perfect fit for our brand, and we've done some really cool things with the design of the space to help inspire fresh ideas and foster a sense of community."
SISDigital, a digital advertising agency in Wilmington, is moving from tekMountain on Sir Tyler Drive to a large private suite at the rear of the Queen Street building that includes one of three shipping containers at the property.
"Our new suite at Coworx is a great space for the team to collaborate," said Ty Downing, CEO of SISDigital, in the release. "We're honored to be among the first to call this new shipping container community home."
More shipping containers are expected to arrive at the site in coming months, with 18 planned to be used in a live/work units on the lot next to 1608 Queen St. Kristof has been working with Smith on conceptual plans for the district (container live/work units shown above and food truck park/village market and food hall conceptual plans shown below)
"We're looking at this property and what can we do to move towards his [Smith's] vision, do something that's smart and what Wilmington needs," Kristof said.