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colin

Mesa's Gateway Center

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Saw this in the paper this morning:

Mesa plans on Gateway 'wow' factor

And because the Star makes you log in:

Mesa wants and is hoping to create an internationally known destination with high-rise corporate office buildings, world-class resorts, transportation and housing centered on Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and tech-heavy college campuses.

Though an economic slump is under way, planners stress that would not affect the overall long-term vision of the Gateway project, which they expect to unfold over decades and through multiple economic cycles.

...

A host of factors came together that helped fuel the Gateway vision, experts say.

They include the looming departure of GM and aggressive plans by DMB Associates of Scottsdale to begin developing the GM site as early as summer 2009.

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While that's well and good and ambitious, I just don't see it happening. The tallest building in mesa was built in 1986, it looks like a Giant among the flat Mesan lands, as nothing remotely tall stands anywhere near it. Anything proposed over two stories in the city causes an uproar. Aside from that, these kind of visionary plans have popped up all over the valley, especially with the slowing economy, I just don't see them being realized. I think you might see another mediocre office park with three story matching buildings and carports to boot. The suburban Phoenix cities all are very ambitious about creating urban cores, but you can't force it, those kind of things happen over time and simply can't be manufatured, no matter what incentives or attractive locales they are near

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While that's well and good and ambitious, I just don't see it happening. The tallest building in mesa was built in 1986, it looks like a Giant among the flat Mesan lands, as nothing remotely tall stands anywhere near it. Anything proposed over two stories in the city causes an uproar. Aside from that, these kind of visionary plans have popped up all over the valley, especially with the slowing economy, I just don't see them being realized. I think you might see another mediocre office park with three story matching buildings and carports to boot. The suburban Phoenix cities all are very ambitious about creating urban cores, but you can't force it, those kind of things happen over time and simply can't be manufatured, no matter what incentives or attractive locales they are near

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Its good to see some talk about where I am currently working. I work in West Mesa as I have said many times. but also doing a project for the Lost Dutchman's heights parcel in AJ. one of the main factors is Gateway. Now I don't know if you guys know much about DMB, but they are visionary, and stick to their plans. One of the other thing that is going for gateway is land ownership in this area. With DMB heading the area plan, they have a great chance in realizing this density and mix of uses. Grant it, it will take a long time, at least 20+ years to see this becoming real. I personally do not think the current economic status affects this plan by any means. its a great project, but gives Mesa a chance to realize they need to density the west side to help Gateway build up if you know what I mean.

next, the people are becoming a little more aware and apart of urban developments. We have been working with the community in design charrates, and the people have designed some great places with...yes, buildings over 2 stories tall. Aqua Terra (formally known as Fiesta Towers) has been reduced, but is 6 stores. The hilton near the BofA building is 8 stories, another one is 7. Another urban development at Southern and Extension is about to break do their final submittals and they are going to be around 4-5 stories, mix use project. Mesa Station along main st is 3 stores, but is a start. One of the design charretts we did, the residents designed an 8 story tower at one of the empty car lots. The city just finished doing an area plan for light rail to encourage redevelopment and TOD's. Alos, another developer is waiting as of now, but at the end of the line, a developer has been working on 5 mid rise mix use plans for about 9 stories for each tower. I personally think when he works with the community, I think the ones close to the single family homes will be scaled down to around 3 stories.

Waveyard is supposed to have up to 10 story residential towers apart of the project. So yes, density is slowly happening, and people are starting to be ok with it. The last time I talked to someone at DMB, they are dead set on building this density in this area and making it the urban core/downtown of the far southeast valley.

Downtown is an interesting animal. The DMA and town center office to me has been very bad as of last 8 years. The city is in the process of updating their zoning code, and I am helping edit it. Its better, but not that great as of now. The need to go with a form based code like downtown phx is along main st, fiesta area, and downtown I think. I think when the new councile and mayor take office and get this lame duck council out, we will hopefully start seeing some better leadership, ideas and so forth about Mesa in general. I know the current mayor only cares about Gateway, and widening roads because he owns a company that does roads. Lame. wow, thats a lot.

Well, at least Mesa is thinking out of the box, urban instead of regular crap that some think that will happen in this area.

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A lot has gone on since the last post of this area. Gateway was approved by voters as you all know, and the area has been awarded as one of the best plans of the 21st century. That is great, especially for Mesa. The airport is doing well, and has got some funds to expand and upgrade the terminal. Allegiant or whatever they are called is doing well and continues to add flights to the airport. Also the AzAI is in this area looking to upgrade the area in the aerospace industry. The gateway are is also being discussed about building a new stadium for the cubs (which I dont think is a good idea at this time. Gaylord is raising capital to build the resort and is looking like they will move forward with it in a few years.

Even with the down economy, there is still movement in this area.

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/146058

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/146100

Now this person could flip it or not, but I like the idea and concept of this development to be more flexible than most. Plus, this is a huge piece of land and people are moving ahead and seeing the vision and the potential of the area.

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