SOMERVILE, MA—Visitors of Federal Realty'sAssembly Row neighborhood here will soonexperience a one-of-a-kind retail venue that pays homage to thearea's industrial past.

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On Aug. 2, a new dining and retail venue created out of shippingcontainers will open for the first time at the corner of CanalStreet and Grand Union Boulevard here. The container courtyarddevelopment that makes up SOMBLOX was built byBoxman Studios of Charlotte, NC. SOMBLOX'S fourmodified 20-foot shipping containers serve as a homage toSomerville's historically industrial past.

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Somerville Brewing Company's American FreshTaproom occupies two of the container spaces and will openon Aug. 2, Boxman Studio officials say.

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The four containers create three distinct spaces that are allADA accessible and include electrical and lighting. Two containersare designed for retail spaces with easy-to-open eight-foot hingedstorefront windows and steel doors.

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“The Row is the first neighborhood of its kind in the country,offering outlet retail alongside restaurants, apartments and officespace and SOMBLOX will add a unique twist to the overallexperience,” says Russ Joyner, vice president andgeneral manager, Federal Realty at Assembly Row. “We wanted tohighlight Somerville's artistic community and its heritage, andSOMBLOX will be the perfect blend of the two. Locals will feelright at home, entrepreneurs and growing businesses can test drivetheir concepts, and visitors will be introduced to a slice of localflavor.”

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Boxman Studios' Architectural Designer TaylorBishal adds, “We love to work with companies like FederalRealty that really embrace the potential of shipping containerarchitecture. Using modern design elements like large hingedstorefront windows, along with things like accent rope lighting,we're able to merge the trendy beer garden environment with abackyard feel.”

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.