February 20, 2013
Aside from the economic whupping of 2008–2009, a major casualty of the recession was space itself. Homeowners and businesses bled square footage, leaving behind a landscape of empty McMansions, vacated big-box stores, and now-famously abandoned shopping malls. Since then, many municipalities have been grappling with how to repopulate these spaces with more nimble, post-boom uses. Existing mall mashups pretty much stick to the public realm—like Cleveland’s indoor gardens and Vanderbilt’s health clinics—but this spring a shuttered shopping center in downtown Providence will be reborn in micro form, with two stories of micro-apartments above ground-floor micro-retail. Micro-micro more!