Jersey City Transforms Four Shipping Containers into Entrepreneurial Offices Known As ‘Container Village’

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Container Village 342 Mlk Drive Bergen Lafayette Jersey City 2
The City of Jersey City has converted four shipping containers in a parking lot in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood into “Container Village,” where entrepreneurs and artists can sell and promote their wares. Photo courtesy the City of Jersey City.

The City of Jersey City has transformed four shipping containers in a parking lot in Bergen-Lafayette into a “micro-entrepreneurial venture” that they’re calling “Container Village.” The offices are meant to provide affordable space for small businesses and artists.

Mayor Steven Fulop hosted a ribbon cutting on Wednesday at the location, at 342 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, a three-block walk from the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive light rail stop.


The lot is across the street from the new $188 million Jackson Square hub, which contains municipal offices.

Earlier this year, various city departments converted the four containers by adding lighting, electricity, heating, air conditioning, and aesthetic changes such as windows, signage, and greenery on the roofs to absorb rainwater.


Container Village 342 Mlk Drive Bergen Lafayette Jersey City 1
The four shipping containers in Jersey City’s new “Container Village” have environmentally friendly green roofs, along with windows, heating, and air conditioning. They’re located at 342 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, three blocks from the light rail station. Photo courtesy the City of Jersey City.

After that, the village was ready to accept small business owners such as Nia Reid-Allen, who previously sold apparel to new moms at street fairs. Now she has an 8-by-20-foot space to grow her business.

Participating entrepreneurs also include Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez, who started an infrared sauna studio downtown and is running a pop-up location at the Village throughout November. “At this space, we will be educating the community on infrared heat therapy and alternative holistic health methods,” she notes on her website. “We are striving to provide affordable health and wellness services to this underserved area in our city. Additionally, we aim to build a community presence in an effort to participate in the facilitation of economic growth in this area while also encouraging shopping local and the support of minority, women and veteran-owned businesses.”

Mayor Fulop said this week, “Container Village is a cost-effective initiative to not only bolster our efforts supporting new and growing small businesses, but also expanding upon our investment to revitalize the area, bringing tangible change, stimulating the local economy, and ultimately encouraging future business opportunities as well. Our investment into this area, along MLK Drive, is an investment that will benefit the community as a whole.”

Michele Massey, the executive director of the Jackson Hill Special Improvement District (SID), said, “We have partnered with the city to create a unique and innovative support system for local residents looking to launch their business ventures. We’re also working to offer mentoring and educational elements for the participants with the help of the city’s Office of Diversity Inclusion, the Hudson County Office of Minority and Women-owned Enterprises, and the Economic Development Corporations on both the city and county level.”

“This entire project along MLK Drive is good for the community,” said Councilwoman at Large Joyce Watterman. “This was part of our objective from day one, to get things moving in the right direction with more foot traffic here and various business interests going on as we work to revitalize the area.”

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Stevie out here converting shipping containers into retail by adding electricity and heating/cooling. Meanwhile Monticello Ave is still a retail dead zone as is The Junction better know as The Junkie-tion.

    How about JC makes it easier for people to start a business… how about putting some money into the hundreds of empty storefronts and moving businesses into them. No…let’s invest in 4 shipping containers surrounded by empty storefronts for some headlines. You honestly can’t make this ish up if you tried!

    • You’re such a negative Nick. Stevie is really thinking out of the box on this one. In terms of city planning this could be historic. Now, the real problem here is the color of the containers. It needs to reflect the happy diversity of JC. To truly be politically correct one container should be painted bad-ass black, another mango or guava for our Hispanic friends, the third, saffron for the the Indian chaps. The mint green at the entrance is perfect for all the shiny new millennials moving in. This concept needs to be expanded. It could be huge.

      • I don’t know if you know this area but you drive down MLK it’s one empty storefront after another. So for the city to invest in some shipping containers as commercial space is hysterical…borderline mentally ill. Just shows how disconnected Stevie is from other parts of the city outside of downtown and Heights..his home base.

        I sense the sarcasm in your post but always hard to read. But I’m sorry if you don’t see the comedy in this.

        • Actually, that was a satirical comment. Lol. I was poking fun at the concept, use of color to make things appear “nice”, diversity, political implication, and silliness of the whole affair. Of course it’s just another feel good photo op/ political stunt for Fulop.

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