LOUISVILLE, Ky, (WDRB) -- There is a unique office space taking shape in the Russell neighborhood.
At the intersection of 18th and Magazine Streets, you'll find a new sight: shipping containers.
"This particular development is the launch of Opportunity Corner," said Terra Leavell, President and CEO of Black Community Development Corporation. "We are building Louisville's African American community. Our mission is to creatively transform spaces to build a self-sustaining community."
The corner, the mission and the shipping containers are the brainchild of Leavell.
"About five years ago, I used to see a young man who sold T-shirts on the corner of 18th and Wilson, out of the back of his car," she said. "He hustled every day. My thought was, 'Can we give him a place to come out of the back of his car and turn his hustle into a legitimate storefront?'"
Leavell took the idea to a local developer.
Milton Haskins, Jr., president of HDDS Inc., Has been in the design and construction management business for nearly 30 years and said the shipping containers were something new.
"She basically came to me and told me she had a concept in her mind and that she wanted to use shipping containers," Haskins said. "We actually built it on another offsite location, did the cutting and the welding and actually brought it and set it here."
Right now, the inside still looks like a trailer, but Haskins said the finished product will include heating and air conditioning and will look and feel like any other office space.
"It's going to have your studs, your drywall, it's going to have your drop ceiling, it's going to have a ADA restroom," Haskins sad. "The whole facility is designed for Americans With Disabilities Act. So everybody will be able to come in and use the restrooms."
Once the containers are officially transformed, Leavell said they will serve as a resource center for entrepreneurs.
"The best things in life often can be free," Leavell said.
The center will be free to those in the Russell neighborhood and include minimal charge for outsiders. And Leavell said entrepreneurs are not the only ones who are welcome to come. The corner office space will also be open to neighbors too.
"This will be a space for them to come, hang out, use the internet, read, do some work," she said.
The initial plan was to build in the Parkland neighborhood, but Leavell said the city approached her about putting it in Russell as part of the city's planned revitalization.
Opportunity Corner is expected to open for business next month.
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