Mortgage And Real Estate News

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scottsdale entrepreneur thinks inside the box

Charles Sidi shows the prototype of his BizBox invention a mobile building with solar panels that can be used for a variety of uses, including as a sales office, trade show display or medical clinic.
Peter Corbett / Arizona Republic Charles Sidi shows the prototype of his BizBox invention a mobile building with solar panels that can be used for a variety of uses, including as a sales office, trade show display or medical clinic.


Business innovators often talk about thinking outside the box.

Scottsdale homebuilder Charles Sidi did that to come up with BizBox, a mobile, solar building with glass walls, display panels and a wraparound deck that can be set up in about 20 minutes.

The steel-frame units can be used as portable offices, stores, restaurants, medical clinics, emergency-services headquarters and trade-show displays, Sidi said.

"It's far better than a vendor trailer," he said. "It's a comfortable space to operate out of."

It is a different kind of business real estate that Sidi notes is all about "location, location, location."

Priced at $129,950, the just-launched cubes weigh about 7,500 pounds. The BizBox space extends to 26 feet long by 8 ½-feet wide and 10 feet high.

The BizBox can also be leased from Equipment Leasing Services of Scottsdale for $1,800 per month.

BizBox opened its 2,000-square-foot showroom in Scottsdale this week at 15855 Greenway-Hayden Loop, Suite 160.

Sidi and investment partner Rick Sikorski took their BizBox prototype on the road this past week to Toronto for a franchise industry trade show.

A ¾-ton truck can pull the BizBox, which has its own 50-gallon water tank, a gasoline generator, heating and cooling and solar panels with battery-pack energy storage.

A skylight, efficient LED lighting and 3-inch walls complete BizBox's features.

"It's not just green wash," Sidi said. "We're serious about its green features."

BizBox can be wrapped with branding murals touting products and businesses.

A BizBox food or yogurt shop of about 220 square feet could seat up to 10 people.

Sidi, a British native from Manchester, had been in commercial development for more than 20 years. He moved to Scottsdale in 2006 and built custom homes here until the housing market faltered.

He started sketching his BizBox idea a year ago and the prototype recently was finished.

"I wasn't prepared to sit around and be defeated by the economy," Sidi said.

His partner, Sikorski, founded Fitness Together, a personal-training franchise, and Elements Therapeutic Massage. He sold both entities in 2006.

Progressive Industries in Phoenix, which is assembling the BizBox units, has been manufacturing custom trailers for about 30 years, owner Bob Wilson said.

"I think this is the neatest thing," Wilson said of BizBox. "It's unique and has a lot of uses."

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Oct. 10, 2011 01:27 PM




Scottsdale entrepreneur thinks inside the box

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