They Transformed The 48 Abandoned Shops In The Oldest Mall In America Into Homes

Tiny Homes Go Urban, as Nanoscale Apartments Take Over Oldest Remaining American Shopping Mall

We’ve all heard of the new “tiny home” trend, where people and sometimes even entire families leave large mortgages behind and move into homes that can be as small as 100 square feet.

Now, the movement to “go small and go home” has inevitably hit urban areas, and developers are figuring out how to get the most bang for their investment bucks by converting unusual spaces into very tiny apartments.

And while they might not be for everyone, for the right individuals, minuscule apartment living is the way to go, helping them keep a tight budget, while offering absolutely minimal maintenance.

One such developer is Evan Granoff, who bought the 200-year-old Providence Arcade in Rhode Island eleven years ago, and has now turned it into a bevy of truly tiny residences, starting at just 225 square feet and costing a very manageable $550 per month and up.

His vision has paid off, as there is now a long waiting list to get in.

And although key amenities, like ovens, are not coded for this type of tiny home, residents, some of whom only live there part-time and many of whom have very busy careers, don’t seem to mind at all.

Residents range from an emergency medical professional in training to a woman who left behind a career at the Pentagon after 9/11 to make, of all things, soap. The mall setting suits them, because they can literally just head downstairs for food, coffee, and shopping.

And for vendors, it must be a huge draw, particularly those serving food, because the combination of a captive audience with no built-in ovens means they are virtually guaranteed to sell meals night after night to the apartments’ residents.

As for panache, this building has it. Now designated by Rhode Island as a National Historic Landmark, it’s crazy to think that the Providence Arcade went up when John Quincy Adams was president (until challenger Andrew Jackson beat him out of the job at the end of the year), and the building of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad had only just begun on July 4th.

No doubt, this trend will spread across the US, as more folks look for ways to live simpler lives and with less, while lowering their monthly nut. Of course, for shopaholics, you might want to avoid living in an actual mall, but no doubt the options for these kinds of mini-homes will continue to expand as demand for them goes up.

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