Work is under way converting the second and third floors, which had been retail spaces, into micro lofts, 225 to 300 square-foot apartments with built-in furniture. The rent for the apartments will start at $550 a month.
"I saw the opportunity for all these people who are graduating and looking for a place to live that's affordable," said Evan Granoff, Arcade owner and developer.
The first floor retail space will remain 17 spaces at nearly 400 square feet, each renting at $1,000 per month.
Granoff said the Arcade will continue its tradition of being the oldest running indoor mall in the country.
"Style fashion area, so clothing stores, jewelry and accessories," he said.
Add in three stand-alone, first-floor restaurants with outside access and you have new life for the historic structure and for downtown Providence.
"If you move to this building, you're going to get to know people," Granoff said.
As far as Granoff knows, it's the first-of-its-kind micro loft and micro retail space in the country.
"Just a great place to live or just to start out," he said.
Granoff said renovation is on track to be completed by the spring.