Shopping malls are dying a slow and ugly death. Shoppers are skipping malls and buying online due to convenience and a no fuss experience.
Many shopping malls are struggling to remain relevant, but the Arcade Providence in Rhode Island is different.
Opened nearly 200 years back in 1828, it is America’s oldest indoor shopping mall. The mall was nearly razed in 1944 but was spared and renovated. Even the renovation didn’t help much, and it ultimately closed in 2008.
But instead of razing it to make room for a different development, developer Evan Granoff who bought the arcade engaged Northeast Collaborative Architects to give it an entirely new role.
A $7 million revival plan transformed the Arcade Providence. They converted it into micro housing for urban dwellers in downtown Providence.
The mall now has 17 shops on the ground floor and 48 low-cost micro-apartments on the top two levels. Residents can rent an apartment at just $550 a month. A one bedroom unit is 225 to 450 square feet in size.
Each apartment is equipped with a built-in bed, a bathroom, sink, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, seating, and storage. A TV room, game room, laundry facilities, bike storage, and a parking garage are shared amenities.
But you cannot move in right away – there is a long waiting list of over 4,000 people for occupancy at the Arcade.