Once a thriving shopping mall, by the late aughts, the Arcade Providence in Rhode Island was failing. Widely thought of as America’s first indoor mall, the Greek Revival structure was constructed in 1828 as the Westminster Arcade. Although the sellers on the second and third floors never did as well as those located on the ground floor, the mall nonetheless operated more-or-less successfully for nearly 180 years. But by 2008, the mall was in serious trouble. In 2010, the landmark building was on Providence’s “10 Most Endangered Buildings” list. Then developer Evan Granoff got an idea. Jumping on the tiny-living train, he proposed a plan to divide the space into 48 micro apartments, leaving only a few storefronts for a handful of key businesses that the residents could easily sustain. After many struggles with preservationists and the city’s DOB, his plan was approved. Completed in late 2013, the project opened to great acclaim, with a waiting list for tenants and the Multi-Housing News Gold Excellence Award in the Best New Development: Adaptive Reuse category.
Both the common and living spaces are just beautiful, while remaining respectful of the original grand architecture. One-bedroom units start at $550/month, so they’re not just pretty; they’re pretty affordable, too. Almost makes me want to throw out all my stuff and move to Rhode Island!
You can read more about the project and the apartment features on ArcadeProvidence.com.