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The Emergence Of Micro-Lofts


Located in Providence, Rhode Island, America’s oldest indoor shopping mall is a three-storey complex dating back nearly 200 years.
Sadly like many others in recent years, the mall was closed down, but in this case has been repurposed, taking on the form of micro-housing for urban dwellers.
Now a community of 48 micro-lofts ranging in size occupy the top 2 floors to a growing demand for the ‘micro-lofts’.


The Greek Revival-style Arcade Providence was built in 1828, and earned National Historic Landmark status in 1976.
However business dipped when the economy started getting squeezed in the late 2000s, and the mall was forced to shut its doors.

Concerns were raised that the Arcade would face the wrecking ball, but fans of the building breathed a sigh of relief when owner Evan Granoff announced that he and J. Michael Abbott of Northeast Collaborative Architects would be turning the upper levels into the compact micro-lofts.

The $10 million project was completed in fall 2013 under budget at $7 million which is also unheard of in todays current climate.


Now tenants are clamoring to pay $550 per month and up to live in the miniature homes - so much so there's already a waiting list, as more than 4000 people have shown am interest in the premises.

Each of the units, which apparantly were inspired by ship construction, features a bedroom, living room, kitchen and hidden storage.

However, there's no oven. But with a clientele that generally consists of recent college graduates, that sort of omission seems to not cause too many problems.

The once-struggling mall offered space on the first floor to retailers, some of whom even chose to take advantage of the convenient real estate upstairs.


Such has been the demand for them that the Micro-Lofts projects have started to spring up in New York, and numerous other cities across the US, as investors are looking into them as a way to maximise income with limited space, and in some cases bring buildings and areas back to life, as or was the case in Rhode Island potential save buildings from demolition.