Company: Project FROG
On the corner of a congested Dallas intersection the umpteenth 7-Eleven is being built or, rather, assembled. The construction site consists of tidy stacks of flat-packed, prefabricated wall units, roof panels and other jumbo components trucked from Michigan and labeled and numbered like parts for a giant Ikea Akurum cabinet. What look like supersize bento boxes contain neatly packaged plastic bags of bolts, clips and other hardware. A pair of bathrooms, complete with toilet roll dispenser and baby-changing table, are being lowered by crane into the 3,000-square-foot store’s shell, where they’ll be plugged in to the plumbing.
You’ve heard of the big-box store. Get ready for the store in a big box. Prefab, long the province of double-wides and, more recently, eco-friendly designer homes, is going commercial. Project Frog, the San Francisco startup behind the 7-Eleven store, is dragging a 19th-century industry into the future with stylish, energy-efficient buildings that can be built in less time and as much as 50% cheaper. The Dallas 7-Eleven was set to open in December, at least a month faster than would a conventional “stick-built” store.