Arcade Providence holds the honor of being America’s first enclosed shopping mall and now a National Historic Landmark, located in Providence, Rhode Island. The narrow, long building was praised for its Greek Revival architecture while the interior boasted skylights and cast iron railings topped with a strip of mahogany. However, Arcade Providence fell into disuse in the late 20th century and shut down multiple times to undergo renovations. Recently, it reopened as a mixed-use commercial and residential building, offering stores on the ground level and affordable micro-lofts on the second and third floors.


The project was carried out by Northeast Collaborative Architects, aiming to revive the failing building to serve the needs of the community while maintaining the charm that came with the history of the building.

Apartments begin at $550 a month. Each apartment maximizes the 225 by 450 square feet dimensions of the loft, with one-bedroom, a kitchen, and a seating area. Each apartment has a built-in bed, full bathroom, refrigerator, sink, microwave, dishwasher, L-shaped seating area by the inwards facing windows, and storage. For those wishing for more space, of its 46 one-bedroom units, Arcade Providence also offers one two-bedroom and one three-bedroom unit.

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Additionally, tenants have the option of using the shared TV room, game room, laundry room, bike storage facility, and parking garage across the street for a discounted monthly price. Public areas in the building offer free wifi and cable; however, if tenants want cable or wifi in their own apartment, they must pay for it themselves. Tenants are also responsible for their own electricity bills.

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In regards to security, there is a coded entrance for residents, a security guard on duty at night, and security cameras throughout the building. Furthermore, the retail section of the mall closes at 9 pm, ensuring privacy and safety to residents. Due to its commercial origins, Arcade Providence is also located near downtown Providence, putting tenants in walking distance to nearby restaurants, stores, gyms, theaters, and other necessary facilities.

Micro Lofts at The Arcade Providence Living Room Photo by Ben Jacobsen X-T1-DSCF4614 rhodeislandmall2

However, those wishing to rent an apartment here should be ready for a long wait- the wait list currently stands at 4,000 people. Due to the popularity of the apartments, Arcade Providence no longer offers model units to show to interested tenants. Their website offers layouts to view, and when a potential resident reaches the top of the waiting list, they are contacted and offered a view of the unit they want to rent. Interested residents may request specific units on the waitlist but have no guarantee of receiving it.

If you would like to join the waiting list, click here.