For Immediate Release: January 25, 2012
The Arcade Providence MicroLofts and New Retail Approach Will Create A New, Energetic Community in the Heart of Downtown
U.S. Senator Reed, Gov. Chafee and Providence Mayor Taveras Join 130 Westminster Street Associates to Unveil Plans to Combine Retail and Residential in the Landmark Building Downtown
Providence, RI: Evan Granoff, manager of 130 Westminster Street Associates, LLC, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras today unveiled new plans for the historic downtown Arcade. With more than 100 business leaders, government officials and downtown merchants gathered inside the Arcade’s center atrium, Granoff announced the landmark building would bring retail and residential opportunities to Providence and create an energetic community in the heart of downtown.
The Arcade Providence will host retail shops and restaurants on its first level, with more shops than restaurants lining the center atrium. The most exciting update in the Arcade is the addition of 48 micro?lofts, or small efficient living spaces that are a trend in cities in the U.S. and across the globe.
“It will be called The Arcade Providence and it will be a historic revival,” Granoff said after unveilinga banner showcasing the Arcade’s new brand. “This historic revival will create an Arcade community, increase the energy in the heart of downtown, help drive business to surrounding retailers, attract new retail and restaurants, and bring micro?loft residents into downtown to live, eat and shop – and it begins today.”
"The Arcade was among the first malls ever built in America and remains one of the most architecturally stunning. Revitalizing the historic Providence Arcade is a good deal for our state and another example of private?public partnerships helping to generate jobs. This development will open doors for new businesses and help create a thriving community for young entrepreneurs,” said Sen. Reed.
Gov. Chafee said, “The Providence Arcade is a Rhode Island landmark in the heart of our capital city. I am pleased that, following its exciting and innovative redesign, this iconic building will be reopened for both commercial and residential use, injecting new jobs, economic activity, and vibrancy into downtown Providence.”
“The reopening of the Arcade is an exciting development for Providence," Mayor Taveras said. "This project breathes new life into America’s oldest indoor mall and one of our city’s most historically significant buildings, with a mix of retail, restaurants and affordable housing for young professionals in the heart of downtown Providence."
Granoff thanked Mayor Taveras and the City Council at the press conference for their foresight in establishing tax stabilization agreements with those who own key properties in the city The Arcade Providence will enter into a tax stabilization agreement with the city of Providence, an agreement that made this project possible.
Although the Arcade will be renovated in the new plans, the renovations will retain the historic integrity of the distinguished building. In fact, the new Arcade will including renovation that restore historic elements to the Arcade, such as the bay windows fronting the shops and the reintroduction of more than 150 double hung windows along the east and west sides of the building.
Built in 1828 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976, the Arcade is the oldest indoor shopping mall in the nation. The new project will stay true to the Arcade’s history as a retail center, but it will provide 14 new shops and restaurants with a fresh, new look. Rather than the once familiar counter?style establishments filling the hall, the Arcade’s center atrium will be lined with more retail shops than restaurants, and the three dine?in restaurants will include one with outdoor cafe seating. The restaurants will have outside access with private entrances so they can remain open after the Arcade’s retail floor closes at 9 p.m.
The Arcade’s retail stores will be renovated to include windows on the outside of their stores and bay windows in the center hall, allowing business owners to promote their products. Some stores will features stairs to the basement level, providing two levels of retail space for their patrons.
The second and third levels of the Arcade will be home to 48 micro?lofts. Those who work and create in cities, enjoy an urban lifestyle, and hope to live in the city’s center, are attracted to the small, environmentally friendly spaces that come at an affordable price. The micro?loft spaces tend to attract a mix of residents including young professionals, entrepreneurs and established businesspeople that live elsewhere and travel frequently to the city.
The micro?lofts in The Arcade Providence will be an average of 225?270 square feet. Ten larger two and three bedroom micro?lofts will also be available. Inside their lofts, residents will have a full bath and built?in beds, storage and seating areas. The micro?lofts also have a kitchen with a nearly full?sized refrigerator, a sink, dishwasher and microwave – a kitchen that fits in with the lifestyle of those who cook simply or often eat out.
Downstairs, there will be common spaces for residents including a lounge with couches and a flat screen TV, and a game room. Residents will have onsite laundry, lockable storage, and a bike room. Residents riding a bike will use the Arcade’s bike ramp to enter the building.
As downtown residents, those living in micro?lofts will enjoy access to arts and culture, theater, shops and restaurants, movie houses and public transportation via train or bus, all within a short walk.
The Arcade Providence micro?lofts are priced starting at an affordable $550 per month, including utilities. The new Arcade concept will be a 24?7 operation, as opposed to a 10?2 lunch operation, providing more activity in the financial district – a positive change for an area of the city that sees much of its activity die down after 5 p.m.
“We will bring a modern concept to a historic building and in doing so, will both preserve its historical integrity and make it economically viable,” said Granoff. The project will break ground this winter, be completed by August and opened in the Fall of this year.
: Jennifer Bramley,