A brief overview:
With one of the largest enrollments in the country, ASU is bursting at the seams and in need of additional space for their new and innovative programs. ASU has looked at Mesa as a perfect location for campus expansion, with light rail connecting students and faculty to Tempe and Phoenix Campuses. This campus expansion would bring students, development and opportunity to the downtown, in countless ways.
An ASU campus in Downtown Mesa would be a win for all of Mesa!
Last fall, there was a proposition to increase sales tax in order to fund bringing an ASU campus to Downtown Mesa. It was voted down. While many understood the huge value Mesa would reap by bringing an ASU campus to downtown, it was clear that Mesa citizens did not want new sales taxes to fund the project.
So here's what we want:
We want to bring an ASU campus to Downtown Mesa--but without a tax increase!
Because the project previously came so close to being approved, there is already a plan in place. Sites have been identified. Architectural renderings are completed. The City of Mesa should find a way to fund this within our current budget. This is a project that could quickly be realized if the Mesa City Council acts.
Click "Me Too" to let the City Council know that you want an ASU campus in Downtown Mesa!
We all want our city to have a vibrant urban core. Vibrancy means businesses and jobs, amenities, re-investment, development, accessibility, high-quality housing--all the things that make a city somewhere people go out of their way to live, be, and invest in.
The great news is that Mesa has a downtown that has all the potential in the world. If we as citizens make it a priority, Mesa could supplant Austin, Pittsburgh, or Denver as the next great American city to which people, investment and opportunity flock.
The arrival of institutions of higher learning have catalyzed previously sleepy districts in some of the most notable cities in America. In Arizona, look no further than Downtown Phoenix--an area that struggled for decades until the establishment of an ASU campus there in 2006. Now, Roosevelt Row is one of the hottest development districts in the country.
In addition, the rise of "Innovation Districts," similar to what ASU would spark in Downtown Mesa, have been shown to foster community and be the most impactful way to create a thriving community in underdeveloped cities. Read more here: The Rise of Innovation Districts
There are a lot of great projects on the cusp of occurring in Downtown Mesa that indicate the area is ripe for drastic improvement that will benefit Mesa as a whole.
However, one of the fastest ways to catalyze our downtown is to bring a great institution of higher learning. Here's why:
- An institution of higher learning brings people, including students, who will need housing and other accommodations.
- The need for housing yields the private development of student housing projects. These are typically high-dollar, high-quality projects that reflect very well on an area.
- Private development signals to developers and the community at large about the future of a place like Downtown Mesa, helping other developers become interested in investing heavily in the area.
- The new student population need restaurants at which to eat, places to hang out, and things to do. These types of amenities start to pop up to serve the population.
- The new amenities bring greater interest and foot traffic to the area and serve the entire city, which tends to start a virtuous cycle (as we’ve seen in places like Downtown Gilbert and along 7th Street in Phoenix).
- Not only does this create a city that is more attractive to live in, it also creates a strong revenue center for city government, which relies on the property taxes and the existing sales tax revenue to operate. The reason so many other cities make investments in projects like bringing an ASU to Downtown Mesa is because they know that the initial investment will be far outweighed over the intermediate and long-term.
- Depending on the program that is established, it’s been proven in other cities that the arrival of an institute of higher learning will ultimately result in companies spinning out of the program, creating jobs and bolstering the local economy.
List of projects and happenings in Downtown Mesa, that signal to ASU their next campus MUST be in Mesa!
Let's capitalize on Downtown Mesa's potential. Bringing ASU to Downtown Mesa is a realistic, achievable project that can help transform our city.
Click "Me Too" to let the City Council know that you want all the benefits of an ASU Campus in Downtown Mesa--without a tax increase!
“15-story hotel, apartments set for Downtown Mesa?”
“Downtown Mesa getting 50-unit artist colony” (ArtSpace)
“Downtown Mesa could be the next Southeast Valley city to see more condo development…”
“Mesa will convert the shuttered Mesa Junior High School campus near downtown into a recreation center and park this fall.”
“Historic Alhambra Hotel in downtown Mesa gets makeover”
“Planned ASU campus in downtown Mesa”
“Downtown Mesa could see $42 million makeover”
“…plans call for a seven-story mixed-use commercial building, 190 apartments and 14 townhouses / row houses be built on the downtown site.”
“Mesa's Pioneer Park will be closed for the next several months while it undergoes renovations.”
“Mesa Mormon Temple to close for 2 years for renovations”
“Goodbye to Mesa’s colonnades, City wants to resurrect the true history of Main Street”
“Sunbelt Holdings, one of the premier developers in the Valley recently purchased the 13-acre former Auto Nation block at the southeast corner of Main St. and Sirrine – preliminary plans for an exciting multi-use development are reportedly being discussed with the City.”