Shipping containers turned shopping destination in downtown
The newly opened Boxyard sits downtown, its 39 modified and modernized shipping containers perfectly juxtaposed against the older landscape. After circling the globe for eight to ten years, they are now permanently home to an eclectic mix of 20 retailers.
“There’s a little something for everybody and something for everyone to discover,” says developer/owner Casey Stowe of Nelson+Stowe Development. “You can come for ice cream and find a comic book, or come for a haircut and check out the price of microscopes.”
With repurposing always in mind, no space is wasted — even the roof deck is used for photo ops or simply hanging out. Tenants have the option to use the rooftop for events, and plans are in the works for nighttime stargazing parties, courtesy of the STEMcell’s telescopes, once spring temperatures rise.
Stowe was inspired after seeing a similar development on a trip to London four and a half years ago. “I was fascinated by the unique use of space,” he says. So he brought the idea to life in Tulsa.
Though it’s a simple, clean design, Stowe says much goes into modifying the containers to take them from ship-shape to shop-shape. A lot of structural steel must be cut away and replaced.
Choosing the businesses to fill each space and complete his vision, however, was a much simpler process. “I knew what I wanted,” he says. “I could hear in (the store owners’) voices when I spoke to each one that they were passionate ... And if they are successful, the Boxyard will be successful.
“Through that and a lot of luck, I created what I wanted — a good mix. You can shop, drink a glass of wine, eat dinner, get a massage and browse the boutiques all at once.
“There was a little bit of luck, a little bit of planning and a whole lot of hard work.”
Inspired by similar international sites, the Tulsa Boxyard is home to a mix of clothiers, retailers, services and commissary vendors, including:
- Abelina’s Boutique
- Beau and Arrow
- Blue Sky Bank
- Bottles Beads Antiquities
- Boxyard Comics
- Downtown Dry Cleaners
- Dwelling Spaces and JoeBot’s Coffee
- East + West Tulsa
- Modern Mess
- Open Container
- Rose Rock Microcreamery
- Sole Massage
- The STEMcell
- The Sweet Boutique
- The Water Co.
- WirWar Tulsa
available at Dwelling Spaces
This Idaho-based brand’s lightweight, stylish sunglasses are handcrafted from unexpected materials, including wood, skateboards and aluminum cans. $90-$150.
Leather feather earrings
available at Bottles Beads Antiquities
Each pair is lightweight, hand-painted and one-of-a-kind. $17-$20.
Topo Designs backpack
available at East + West Tulsa
Clean, simple designs, available in multiple textiles; all made at the foot of the Colorado Rockies. $85-$168.
available at Abelina’s Boutique
Each stone is earthy, chic and unique, in various shapes and springtime colors. $10-$16.
Allosaurus skull replica
available at The STEMcell
A conversation piece of prehistoric proportions made of high-quality, museum-grade materials. $1,995.
Skin & Bones skincare
available at Modern Mess
Cleanser, moisturizer and salve locally made with organic, therapeutic-grade essential oils. $24-$48.
available at The Water Co.
This eco-friendly, foldable water bottle comes in .7 liter and 1 liter. $16-$18.
502 E. Third St. | tulsaboxyard.com