Small business is changing and people like Norma Uribe are creating Innovative Spaces in Pereira. A woman entrepreneur she has implemented a different approach to retail spaces in The City Without Doors. We are proud to bring you the first commercial space of its type in Pereira. Storage containers repurposed to create shops.

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A Family Legacy in Pereira

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Norma age 70, is one of the the joint landowners of this property. She traces her lineage back to her great grandmother who, married one of 3 Marulanda brothers (her sister having married another) from Son Son and became a part of the foundation of Pereira. These were the men who helped to clear the land and build the pueblo which is now a growing city. These 3 brothers were quite prolific, with one reportedly having fathered 22 children. Needless to say, the legacy lives on today in the small businesses scene of Pereira as antique houses are being replaced with the next generation of buildings.

Muelle 18 Innovative Spaces in Pereira

The final vestige of an earlier era, the old house was on its last leg.

The site of Muelle 18, was the “rancho” that had once taken up a good sized “slice” of the city block between calle 18 and 19 in el Centro. Passed through the family, and slowly divided up and sold, an old house remained. The house was old and unfortunately, in very poor condition. ”

“Que era una casa antigua de ano 1935, estaba con muchas problemas de animales, fue un construcción que estaba demasiado vieja,”/ It was a house from the year 1935 with many problems from vermin, and was a construction which was extremely old.”

The old Bareque walls were becoming homes for vermin and also posed a significant fire risk – and the resulting liability. Bareque, is a construction type which is composed of clay, guadua bamboo sheets and cow manure. It was time for a change. Norma found an ecological solution which would create a center of productivity, innovation and sustainability. And, this is how Innovative Spaces in Pereira like Muelle 18 are conceptualized.


Innovative Spaces in Pereira

In the el Centro district of Pereira the excitement and buzz is palpable everywhere with new construction and recent city clean up efforts by the current administration. Many old buildings are receiving paint-jobs and remodels. But some of the old buildings have outlived their maintenance limit and upkeep affordability. They are now being replaced with the Innovative Spaces in Pereira, the next generation of commerce.


As global shipping continues to slow down, innovative solutions are being implemented to repurpose the overflow of empty storage containers. Pereira native, and Medellin resident, Norma Uribe is studying ways to repurpose materials and help small businesses cut down on their overall carbon footprint and operating costs.

Me parece que el proyecto fue muy buen curado. Me toco duro con los curaduria por que es en una zona urbana y turística. Me toco vender la idea a ellos. El primer muestra fue con Legos.

She told us the story of how she had to sell the idea to the Pereira city council, even going so far as to use Legos to create a 3D image of the planned construction. Persistence paid off and her design was approved! It was the first of its type in Pereira. A digital design program was used to create renderings and to work the space options for planning.

En Medellin me ayudo mucho Joe Mejia, que hice un zona rosa de restaurantes en Medellin (de containers).

Similar spaces have already been built and become famous in Medellin, where a trendy food-court dining concept was created by stacking and placing storage containers, adding reinforcement and repurposing materials. One of the creators of these spaces were essential to the project in Pereira, giving advice and wisdom to help Norma ensure the success of her venture.


Muelle 18

Meet Muelle 18, on the Calle 18 between Carrera 5 and Carrera 6. This sector is the scene of very fast growth and development of Innovative Spaces in Pereira. With two different construction sites and the city fixing old streets, this area is set to become a very trendy neighborhood in the near future. Muelle 18 is an act of careful thought and foresight offering small businesses the opportunity to rent spaces for affordable prices with a fun and productive environment.
Innovative Spaces in Pereira

Benefits of Renting a Local in Muelle 18 | Pereira, Colombia

Let’s take a look at the benefits of Storage Containers as construction building blocks and business spaces:

  1. Repurposed Containers: Fire resistent, recycled/repurposed materials, low carbon footprint.
  2. Homogenous Construction: Sliding doors, earthquake resistant, usable spaces which are light and efficient.
  3. Low-Overhead Cost: Due to the simplicity of building materials, rent is affordable compared to similar spaces/options in the same neighborhood.
  4. Environmentally Sustainable: U-shaped breezeway creates constant airflow, including green space & natural light w/heat insulation which creates consistent cool temperatures, even on hot days. (Great for a cigar-shop/wine bar!)

Todo el material se lo re-utilizo. Queda muy fuertes por que unos los problemos del construccion Se hizo un estructura y los divisiones son estructurales. Quedo una forma de construcción muy homogénea en los materiales. Aquí no hay ni un solo ladrillo.

Let’s recap. All the materials in this construction are repurposed. The design is very strong, one of the problems with container construction is the divisions which can weaken it. Norma found a way to ensure strength while keeping it very homogenous. Not a single brick was used in the office spaces themselves.

Muelle 18 Pereira Colombia

A Vision Into the Future

The final result is a futuristic construction type which is as efficient as it is appealing to the eye. The space is very efficient, well lit and offered at a low cost compared to other commercial spaces in the sector. This is start-up heaven for anyone who has dreamed of having their own business but are limited by funds and the cost of rent. Its a place to create and grow your brand. Only a couple blocks from Plaza Bolivar, as the other construction projects in this same zone finish, the values of this neighborhood will continue to rise. This is a great opportunity!

Es una oferta comercial de trabajo a personas, son negocios pequeños familiares que los costos del los arrendimientos por el sitio esta económicos. Y es un sitio seguro con las alarmas y monitoria de Seguridad Nacional que vienen. Un concepto diferente. Hay alumbra natural. Hay un jardin y espacio verde minimalista. Hay permanentemente una corriente. En el centro de pereira, hay muy pocos sitios que hay medio ecologicos.

Translation: Its a commercial offer of work for people who are small family-owned businesses. The costs for rent are economical for the site. Its a site which is very secure with alarms and monitoring by National Security. A different concept. It has natural light, a minimalistic garden and green space. There is a permanent (air) current in the space. In the center o fierier are very few places which have an ecological environment (like this one). Innovative Spaces in Pereira.

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More Information about Innovative Spaces in Pereira and Colombia:

Eat in/around Storage Containers:

Shipping Container Construction in Europe:

En Espanol sobre Container City in Medellin:

Investment Opportunities in Colombia (Slideshare Format):

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