The leader of an artists’ cooperative has been sentenced to probation for setting up a secret apartment inside a shopping mall’s parking garage as part of a project on mall life.
Michael Townsend, 36, said he and seven other artists built the 750-square-foot apartment beginning in 2003 and lived there for up to three weeks at a time.
The artists built a cinderblock wall and nondescript utility door to keep the loft hidden from the outside world.
But inside, the apartment was fully furnished, down to a hutch filled with china and a Sony Playstation 2 – although a burglar broke in and stole the Playstation last spring, Townsend said.
There was no running water – instead they used the mall bathrooms.