tod news

Mesa names downtown vision committee
Eric Jay Toll | Phoenix Business Journal


Three design firms are competing for the future Mesa City Center design. The team of Otak and Mayer/Reed (image) propose preserving mature downtown trees on islands in a water setting emulating Mesa's history of canals.

Mesa Mayor Alex Finter and the city council are taking leadership seriously as the city shakes off the recession and starts planning the future of Mesa.


In the past three weeks, the city has unveiled the fruits of City Center design competition, heard a strategic vision for the Falcon Field area and now have locked in a citizen committee to recommend downtown transformation.


Downtown visioning is being spurred by the pending completion of the Metro Light Rail extension, a series of new and proposedresidential developments in central Mesa and its newly opened downtown satellite college campuses.


Finter and Vice Mayor Chris Gloverannounced the committee appointments and charged the group with recommending policies to encourage transit-oriented development, improved market prospects and opportunities to boost private investment.


Mesa is looking for rapid recommendations from the group. The committee will take its seat within the next month and the city council is expecting to see the report within six months.


Shortly after taking office in April, the mayor appointed a committee to recommend policies and programs to boost employment at Falcon Field. That group completed its work in under five months.


“As downtown Mesa approaches an important milestone (with the completion of light rail), it is imperative that we develop a strategic vision designed by members of the community that have first-hand experience in downtown development, vitality and success,” Mayor Alex Finter said.


Members of the committee are:

  • Jo Wilson (Chair), senior administrator, Benedictine University
  • Steve Chucri, County Supervisor, District 2
  • Debby Elliot, former member of the Mesa Arts Center Board and arts advocate
  • Charles Huellmantel, Mesa and Tempe attorney with development specialties
  • Rich Marchant, vice president of operations, Crescent Crown Distributing, LLC
  • Marco Meraz, owner, Republica Empanada, board member, Retail, Arts, Innovation, Livability (RAIL) Alliance
  • Lorenzo Perez, infill and adaptive reuse developer for Venue Projects and Kitchell-Perez LLC.