Woman Lives In Oldest Mall In America After 48 Abandoned Shops Are Turned Into Homes

The tiny house movement over the last several years keeps gaining popularity, and it brought about a trend to repurpose old buildings. It would be much easier to convert old, abandoned buildings into housing than building new houses.

Many believe that tiny homes allow people to live simply and produce less waste, while, at the same time, they solve the housing crisis facing many young people who have been priced out of current the rental market.

The oldest indoor shopping mall in America, located in Providence, Rhode Island, has been entirely re-imagined since it was first built in 1828. In 2008, it went out of business and its doors were shut to the public.

Yet, the building, affectionately named The Arcade, was then bought by Evan Granoff, and six years later, he converted it into 48 stylish micro condos!

Redesigned by Northeast Collaborative Architects, the three-floor building boasts classical Greek architecture: columns, stone walls, and a large central atrium lit by skylights.

On the ground floor of the building, there are a few small retail spaces for convenience. Shops include two salons, a cafe, pizzeria, international foods, a craft beer bar, vintage clothing stores, and a book emporium.

Its other two floors have been renovated to create micro lofts, each complete with sleeping and living spaces, a compact bathroom, and a pantry with a refrigerator.

The kitchens are equipped with a mini-fridge, sink, dishwasher, and microwave, but lack a stove, yet, this doesn’t bother residents, as most of them travel frequently for work and only need a simple space to unwind.

They are a modern and environmentally friendly solution, ideal for independent people. The lofts are each about 225- squared feet in total, with other larger units available at about 400- squared feet (and priced from $800 to $1,800 a month).

They come already furnished, with a few space-saving magic tricks.

The larger (so to speak) 400-800 squared feet units have just enough space for a personal washer and dryer, and all apartments have impressive large windows, which open out into the center of The Arcade, and let in natural light.

Residents claim they love the security the building offers to them. It is equipped with security features like cameras and access fobs, and the ground-floor shops are closed to the public in the evenings.

Yet, if you are interested in these micro condos, you should know that they are in high demand, so you’ll have to add your name to a lengthy waiting list.

The Arcade Providence website explains: 

“A trend in cities across the globe, the micro-lofts at the arcade providence offer residents 48 small, attractive living spaces in the center of downtown.

These efficiently designed lofts provide a unique opportunity to live in a thriving urban environment. Most of our lofts are studios and one-bedrooms. There is one 2-bedroom loft and one 3-bedroom loft.”

According to James Hall, former Director of the Providence Preservation Society:

“The Providence Arcade is probably the single most important example of commercial architecture in Providence and a building of national significance.

The reopening of the Arcade is a monumental, much-longed-for occasion, and a great gift to the residents of the city. “