Providence Place

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Providence Place
ProvidencePlaceMallWestin.jpg
Providence Place with Omni Providence Hotel at far left in the background.
LocationProvidence, Rhode Island, United States
Coordinates41°49′40.58″N 71°24′59.24″W / 41.8279389°N 71.4164556°W / 41.8279389; -71.4164556Coordinates: 41°49′40.58″N 71°24′59.24″W / 41.8279389°N 71.4164556°W / 41.8279389; -71.4164556
AddressOne Providence Place
Opening dateAugust 20, 1999; 21 years ago (1999-08-20)
ManagementBrookfield Properties
OwnerBrookfield Property Partners[1]
No. of stores and services160
No. of anchor tenants2
Total retail floor area1,400,000 sq ft (130,000 m2)
No. of floors3
Websiteprovidenceplace.com

Providence Place is a shopping mall in Providence, Rhode Island. With 1,400,000 sq ft (130,000 m2) of gross leasable area, it has been the largest shopping mall in Rhode Island since it opened in 1999. It is currently owned by Brookfield Property Partners and managed by Brookfield Properties.

As of 2019, the mall is anchored by department stores Boscov's and Macy's. Previous anchors include Filene's, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, and Nordstrom.

History[edit]

Providence Place opened in 1999 with original anchors Lord & Taylor, Filene's, and Nordstrom.[2] Lord & Taylor closed in June 2004 and was later replaced by JCPenney in February 2005. Filene's was converted to Macy's in 2006.

Michael Townsend, Adriana Yoto and six other artists covertly built an apartment in a 750-square-foot (70 m2) loft in one of the mall's parking garages in 2004 and lived there for up to three weeks at a time while documenting mall life.[3] After the fully furnished apartment was discovered by mall security, Townsend was sentenced to probation on October 2, 2007 and banned from the mall for life.[4][5][6][7]

On January 7, 2015, it was announced that JCPenney would be closing as part of a plan to close 39 stores nationwide. The store closed in Summer 2015.[8] It was later replaced with an expanded parking garage in 2017.[9]

On October 9, 2018, it was announced that Nordstrom would also be closing on January 4, 2019 with Boscov's replacing it. Boscov's opened on September 26, 2019.[10]

On June 1, 2020, Providence Place suffered damage after people protesting the killing of George Floyd broke in and looted 12-18 stores.[11]

Architecture[edit]

The mall was built on land previously occupied by a dirt parking lot called "Ray's Park & Lock." The proposed design was met by opposition from residents on the city's East Side; developers changed the initial design to fit better into the neighborhood. The new design included more red and yellow brick and turrets on the roof, to reflect Providence's industrial past.[12]

The design of the mall was partly done by the architect Friedrich St. Florian.[13] He also built the skybridge that connected the mall with the Omni Providence Hotel (formerly the Westin Hotel).

In total, Providence Place consists of fifteen levels. The lowest three are labeled C-A (P1-P3). Level C consists of Parking-Only Stateside, and Street Level Restaurants Cityside. There is also a level D on the Stateside garage. Level B consists of DSW shoes and Restaurants, Old Navy stateside, Bed Bath & Beyond cityside and The Skybrige to the Westin. Level A consists of parking only, both cityside and stateside. Cityside is the mall's southern end, facing Downtown. Stateside is the mall's northern end, facing state office buildings including the State Capitol.

The fifth through ninth levels are labeled 1, 1M (1.5), 2, 2M (2.5) and 3, which features the indoor galleria. There is a Dave & Buster's, an IMAX theatre, and a 16-screen cinema on the seventh level. The mall also hosts two large parking garages, one cityside and the other stateside, anchored to its back end. Bridges connect the two sides over the Woonasquatucket River.

The mall's Winter Garden is a noticeable architectural feature. The four-level structure in the center of the mall spans the Woonasquatucket River and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line. The area features large expanses of glass providing views of the city. The third level of the Winter Garden contains the food court and access to its fourth level, serving as the entrance to Dave and Buster's, the IMAX theater, and the cinema. Although not directly connected to the mall, Amtrak's Providence Station is located approximately 200 yards east of the mall, providing Acela Express and Northeast Regional service to Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C..

In early 2017, the garages were renovated, including converting first two floors of the former JCPenney into more parking and the addition of a system indicating where spaces are available.

Reception[edit]

The financial viability of Providence Place has been questioned since 2016, following the closure of J.C. Penney and increasing popularity of Garden City Shopping Center in Cranston for upscale shopping.[14] GoLocalProv noted that several "higher-tier retailers and restaurants have been replaced with lower-priced retailers or are vacant," and opined that the closure of Nordstrom signaled that "the once gem of the city is now in near free fall."[15]

List of anchor stores[edit]

Name Year
opened
Year
closed
Notes
Nordstrom 1999 2019
Boscov's 2019 N/A Replaced Nordstrom
Lord & Taylor 1999 2005
JCPenney 2005 2015 Replaced Lord & Taylor
Filene's 1999 2006
Macy's 2006 N/A Replaced Filene's

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Providence Place". Brookfield Properties.
  2. ^ https://www.providencejournal.com/photogallery/PJ/20190927/NEWS/927009995/PH/1
  3. ^ "Trummerkind". wrafwraf.com. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "Artist gets probation for building secret mall apartment". NBC News. Associated Press. October 2, 2007.
  5. ^ SELIN DAVIS, LISA (August 15, 2008). "The couple who lived in a mall". Salon.
  6. ^ Mulvaney, Katie. "Where Are They Now: Artist wishes he could go 'home' again to Providence Place mall". providencejournal.com. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Accidental Room". 99% Invisible. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  8. ^ https://pbn.com/jc-penney-store-closing-at-providence-place-mall102639/
  9. ^ https://www.providencejournal.com/article/20160426/NEWS/160429416
  10. ^ https://www.wpri.com/business-news/nordstrom-at-providence-place-closing-boscovs-coming/1509822244
  11. ^ https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/06/02/providence-place-mall-protests-riots-fire-police-cruiser-george-floyd/
  12. ^ Kostrzewa, John (December 25, 2016). "John Kostrzewa: A winter night's tour of the Providence skyline". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 25, 2016. Just across Memorial Boulevard, you can't miss Providence Place, the huge mall built in 1999 on land once used by Ray's Park & Lock, a dirt lot for 450 cars. ... When the mall was proposed, some East Siders ... complained it looked like an aircraft carrier. They convinced public officials to change the design to include more red brick (and special yellow brick for Nordstrom) and turrets on the roof to fit the city's industrial past.
  13. ^ http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2005-06/05-128.html
  14. ^ Belknap, Erin (October 20, 2017). "What's Next For Providence Place?". Providence Online. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "What is the Future of Providence Place Mall?". GoLocalProv. January 14, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.

External links[edit]