Unlike any other shopping centre, 27 Boxes, made entirely from shipping containers, opened last week in Melville, Johannesburg. The “mini mall” as some residents call it, has established itself as a space for smaller businesses that specialise in crafts, boutique stores and unique food outlets. The development while supported by some residents, faced resistance from several others. 

It is unlike any other shopping centre you have seen. In what used to be a hundred-year-old park, 80 shipping containers now stand three storeys tall. Melville’s latest shopping development, 27 Boxes, right around the corner from the famous 7th Street, opened last week and has established itself as a family-friendly, crafty space.

Developer of the centre, Arthur Blake, is also the managing developer of Citiq, a property management company. He said he decided to use the vacant land to draw people into Melville, a suburb he described as “arty”.

Some residents were very unhappy about the development and raised concerns such as crime, litter and noise, while others were enthusiastic and happy about the increased business in the area.

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