Loft living a reality in Arcade Providence mall

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The owner of America’s oldest indoor mall took a bold step last fall and rather than look for retailers to fill the space instead converted much of the area to 48 micro residential lofts.

The idea could spur others to follow suit, especially in cities where residential space is scarce and what does exist is rented at a premium. Evan Granoff took the bankrupt Westminster Arcade — an 1828 building on the National Register of Historic Places — renamed it Arcade Providence, and developed the micro-units, each with about 225 square feet of space.

Residents are treated to features like Greek-revival columns, granite walls and ample light from skylights in the atrium. But luxuries are few. The units are targeted toward young, busy professionals, and do not come with stoves. Although some comforts are missing, residents are lining up to be a part of the small-living movement. Each unit, however, does have a full shower, half-sized refrigerator, sink, dishwasher and microwave.

The living quarters are between 225 square feet and 450 square feet and, unfortunately, Fido must live elsewhere as no pets are allowed. The bulk of the units, 46 to be exact, are one-bedroom apartments. There also is one two-bedroom unit and one three-bedroom unit.

Rents start at $550 per month, and parking in the garage is available for an additional $250 per month, or those who opt for a bicycle for transportation can lock those up for free.

Despite its abundance of housing, the mall is not devoid of retail. The first floor is home to retailers like the Rogue Island Kitchen and Bar and New Harvest Coffee and Spirits for residents who want a bite to eat, coffee or an adult beverage.

Image courtesy of Arcade Providence

Source: The Arcade Providence


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Kelley Chambers

Kelley Chambers is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience covering news in Oklahoma. He has worked for the The Oklahoman, was editor-in-chief of The Vista at the University of Central Oklahoma, served as writer and later editor-in-chief of okcBIZ magazine,...