arcade providence 2 Micro-units are coming to America’s oldest indoor shopping mall this spring.

The Providence Arcade, built in 1828 and located in downtown Providence, RI, is being reincarnated as a mixed-use development with “micro-lofts” on the upper floors.

The second and third floors of the historic landmark, which closed for renovation in 2008, will be occupied by 48 apartments, 38 of which will be modular one-bedrooms measuring 225 to 450 square feet. The units will have built-in beds and “nearly full-sized” refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher in the kitchen. The ten larger apartments will be one- to three-bedroom homes. Residents will have access to “gathering spaces, including a common room with flat-screen TV, game room and porches,” according to the official site. Pricing starts at $550 a month.

The redeveloped building will be anchored by three restaurants and about a dozen new stores. The apartments are aimed at young professionals and recent graduates, developer Evan Granoff told the Providence Phoenix: “This is like a cruise ship or a boat cabin, where everything is being built into the unit… it’s totally ready to roll.”

The experiment in micro-living could herald a trend in struggling malls being converted into mixed-use developments. The Congress for the New Urbanism has bee pushing to transform obsolete malls into thriving complexes with housing, retail, offices and public space close to transit systems. About 18 percent of regional malls in the US are primed for “the new urbanism treatment,” according to a 2001 study CNU did with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Renderings below, courtesy of The Arcade Providence:

Arcade Providence

arcade providence 3

arcade providence 2

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