America’s oldest mall is now brimming with micro-apartments

The Providence, R.I. arcade was transformed with just $7 million

TRD New York /
Aug.August 31, 2014 02:00 PM

At nearly 200 years old, Rhode Island’s Providence Arcade is considered America’s first indoor mall. But recently the arcade has seen a dramatic overhaul, transforming it into dozens of micro apartments. “It had become economically obsolete,” said J. Michael Abbott, a principal at Northeast Collaborative Architects of the mall, which closed in 2008. “When it was a full shopping center of all three floors, it just wasn’t working. Shops were opening and closing all the time.” Desperate for a solution, the building’s owner, developer Evan Granoff, decided to tap into the growing trend of living in super-small apartments, according to Curbed. The $7 million project wrapped up in October 2013 and some retail space was preserved. However, 38 rental units were also added to the apartment, each measuring only 225 to 300 square feet. Granoff also hedged his bets with eight larger apartments. Rent starts at $550 a month and building amenities include a game room, storage spaces and a laundry machine. [Curbed]Christopher Cameron

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