Those exploring downtown McKinney this weekend might notice a new addition on Kentucky Street: a decorated and activated shipping container.

The container arrived Sept. 28. It is part of a program called Better Block in a Box, which aims to help communities “promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.”

Included in the box are string lights, places for people to sit, and activities for people of all ages, officials said. Once set up, the shopping container can become a bar, a check-in kiosk or an inside gallery.

“We know downtown merchants experience increased foot traffic and increased sales in conjunction with downtown events,” said Amy Rosenthal, director of McKinney Main Street and the McKinney Performing Arts Center, in an email. “Better Block in a Box will provide McKinney Main Street with a quick and easy way to generate ‘pop-up’ events. These events will provide important insight to areas that may be developed as pedestrian spaces in the future.”

The box will primarily reside on Kentucky Street but could also be used for activities with the city’s other departments and local nonprofits, she said.

The box was funded by the McKinney Community Development Corp. for $66,000. Find out more at