Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Why Just Hang Out at the Mall When You Can Live There?

In one of the coolest repurposing projects we’ve ever seen, the Providence Arcade in Rhode Island is being converted from standard shopping mall into a retail and micro-apartment complex. The first floor of the arcade will remain retail, but the top two floors will be converted into 48 micro-apartments, averaging a mere 250 sq ft. Prices start at a very reasonably $550/month.

The mall, also known as the Westminster Arcade, is the nation’s oldest indoor mall, dating back to 1828. And unlike most malls we’re familiar with, features ample natural light (the malls of our youth were lit like Vegas casinos). The tiny apartments look out onto the courtyard, which is covered by a huge skylight.

The little apartments will have many features including dishwashers, full bathrooms, built-in furniture with storage, additional lockable storage, common areas, a game room and more. The big walkways look like great places to interact with your neighbors–something surely abetted by a climate controlled environment.

The $7M conversion is being developed by Evan Granoff and the apartments are expected to be ready by May. It looks like a fun place to live and shows that making desirable, affordable micro-housing doesn’t require elaborate new buildings, but can be done with existing resources. Find more info at Arcade’s website.

Story and images via Inhabitat

  • rjbratz

    Why hang out at the mall when you can (live) there?

    • DavidFriedlander

      jeez, it’s always the most glaring typos that get missed. thanks!

  • I like the idea in terms of sustainability, but honestly, the layout looks a little too much like a prison.

    • the resemblance to a prison did occur to us, but i suspect the opening doors and softer surfaces create big enough a difference to take the similarities too far.

  • DianaBGKY

    Looks like a cool space to me, but I’m wondering if the apartments have windows? And I’m also wondering about security?

    • DianaBGKY

      Never mind about windows. I had not clicked on the images. But I do still wonder about security and also privacy.

      • they mention a security access code. i suspect the upper floors will not be open to public. i think privacy will be in the form of curtain in courtyard facing windows. it appears as though there are outside facing windows as well, so there should be enough light.

  • It is much more beautiful than the expensive condo buildings in Miami. Well done!

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  • Roger

    You’d feel compelled to just walk down and get milk in your robe and slippers.