Rochester tore down its enclosed downtown shopping mall.
Providence is turning its mall into micro-lofts.
The Providence Arcade, built in 1828, is considered the oldest shopping mall. It closed in 2008, suffering the same fate as downtown malls across the country. A developer wants to revamp the historic space by mixing boutique retail shops and tiny apartments.
The micro-lofts are 225-450 square feet and rents start at $550 a month. Check out the concept here.
Although it’s not entirely clear as to what kind of businesses will be repopulating the Arcade, I’m thinking that when future residents need to give directions that this will be more of a “I live in the sleek micro-loft above the artisanal bakery and across from the jewelry design studio” than a “I live in the shoebox above the Orange Julius that used to be a Sunglass Hut” type of situation. And with its smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-downtown location and WalkScore of 98, the location of this “vibrant arcade community”couldn’t be more foot-, bike-, and public transit-friendly.
Not surprisingly, the wait list to get in on one of the units is already quite daunting.
Itsy-bitsy living units are getting popular in big cities, such as New York. But Providence is a medium-sized city, with a population smaller than Rochester. Could micro-units work in Rochester? With complaints about the cost of downtown rental units and an abundance of old buildings with space, I could see it happening.
Links of the Day:
– Syracuse has to shuffle teachers and principals in order to comply with No Child Left Behind, even though there’s no evidence indicating this kind of disruption improves schools.
For Wegmans to say there’s separation btwn it & Whitehouse isn’t credible, as sign @ Marketplace doorway indicates. twitter.com/rachbarnhart/s…
— Rachel Barnhart (@rachbarnhart) February 19, 2013