AS220 Opens Mercantile Block Apartments in Downcity

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


AS220's Mercantile Block Apartments are going to make you wish you were an artist.


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In October, Providence's ever-hip, non-profit art organization will be completing the reconstruction of downtown's Mercantile Block. Over the last two years, AS220 has transformed the rundown building into an artist's oasis, and this month, the public is welcomed in to get a peek at a model unit.


Great price for artists and geeks

The Mercantile's third and fourth floors are filled with 22 residential studios reserved for artists of all mediums. Sixteen affordable residential studios will be available to low-income artists (as well as "geeks," members of Providence's tech community), which cost $640 or $768 per month. To be eligible for the affordable rates your annual income is limited to $25,600 and $30,270, respectively. Six more residential studios will be available for $1,065-$1,125 per month with no income restrictions. The rooms range from 600 to 880 square feet in and include a full bathroom, ceiling fan, kitchen, heating and A/C.


Great in-house neighbors

The in-house neighbors are already in place. The Mercantile's second floor will house the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities and College Visions, a college access program. AS220's Lab and Print Shop will be located on the both first and second Floors. And best of all, the basement will be fitted with three music rehearsal studios, available for rent to local musicians.

The coolest part of the renovation may be of Martha Street (the dirty and not-so-safe street that runs behind the Mercantile). "The Mercantile is a very deep building and we recognized that at one time in its history this building had entrances on Martha Street," said Lucie Searle, AS220's Development Manager. "Our two commercial tenants, The Stable (a bar) and a to-be-announced pizza place - can also be accessed from Martha Street and will be able to have chairs and tables there. Martha Street will be newly paved, well lit, very pedestrian friendly and lovely outdoor space - reminiscent of a European mews."

And starting today you'll be able to see the complex and a completely finished apartment. There will be an OPEN HOUSE every Tuesday at the Mercantile from 5:30-7pm for the remainder of the summer.

The environment at the Mercantile Block will be a great place for artists to gather and create, so if you're interested you should apply now by downloading the application from their Web site.




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