Placemaking

Cultivating unique spaces throughout Mesa that are vibrant, safe, blight-free, and that are served by quality infrastructure to attract and benefit residents, business, and visitors.


The process of Placemaking is about re-imagining our spaces so they have meaning for people who use them, and using spaces better for the people who live, work, learn, and visit there. Placemaking includes both spatial (public spaces used by the public: buildings, parks, bike/pedestrian paths, etc.) and experiential (our social and cultural experiences using them).  

Arts and Culture Spaces

From Fiscal Year 2006-07 through Fiscal Year 2019-20, total public participation in all programs offered by Mesa’s three premier cultural institutions totaled more than 8.0 million with an average of 640,000 each year between Fiscal Year 2010-11 and 2018-19.  Since the pandemic began, all of our museums have had to drastically reduce capacity to ensure the safety of our patrons and our teams.  Our theaters have had to completely shut down, dramatically reducing our public participation at each of our institutions for both Fiscal Year 2019-20 and Fiscal Year 2020-21. 
The contributions of the Mesa Arts Center, Arizona Museum of Natural History, and the i.d.e.a. Museum are anticipated to return at full force in Fiscal Year 2021-22, providing a substantial and positive impact by increasing the number of visitors to Downtown Mesa and our local businesses.  These visitors energize Main Street and the downtown area with their shopping and additional spending on gas, food, lodging, and parking which helps strengthen our local economy.
Mesa Arts Center’s “Performing Live” series of live theater, music, comedy, and performance events averaged 63,933 attendees from Fiscal Year 2010-11 until 2014-15.  In the last four full seasons, that average has increased to 78,921, an increase of 23.4%.  We have an incredible season planned for Fiscal Year 2021-22 and anticipate a return to similar participation levels as a year of pent-up demand is expected to materialize into ticket sales.
i.d.e.a. Museum
The i.d.e.a. Museum inspires children to experience their world differently.  Our activities and exhibitions are developed for kids of all ages and – most importantly – for the whole family.  Our average participation at the i.d.e.a. Museum has been 96,981 each year from Fiscal Year 2014-15 through 2018-19.  Our participation in Fiscal Years 2019-20 and 2020-21 have been dramatically lower due to an extended closure, reduced hours, timed ticketing, and reduced capacity.  As we come out of the pandemic, we fully expect to return to at least the average annual attendance.
Arizona Museum of Natural History
The Arizona Museum of Natural History is the premier natural history museum in Arizona.  It is dedicated to inspire wonder, respect, and understanding for the natural and cultural history of the Southwest.  Our average participation at the i.d.e.a. Museum has been 138,668 each year from Fiscal Year 2014-15 through 2018-19, with our Fiscal Year 2018-19 having our highest attendance ever at 160,512.  Our participation in Fiscal Years 2019-20 and 2020-21 have been dramatically lower due to an extended closure, reduced hours, timed ticketing, and reduced capacity.  As we come out of the pandemic, we fully expect to return to at least the average annual attendance.

Library Services

Mesa Public Library children’s program attendance saw an increase of 19% over the last year. The Library’s focus on early literacy efforts and increased children’s program offerings have contributed positively to this trend. 
Dobson Ranch Library has especially seen a resurgence in attendance in children's programs for ages 0-5 by 65%, indicating more engagement and revitalization of library use in this community.

Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities

The Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department operates with 202 parks, 9 aquatic centers, 6 recreation centers, 2 professional baseball stadiums, a championship golf course, tennis center, convention center, a 5,000-seat amphitheater, a cemetery, and oversight of maintenance operations at all City owned properties. This uniquely organized Department serves employees and citizens throughout ALL stages of life.
Recreation and Aquatics
Golf
Citywide network of on-street and off-street multi-use paths

This data set provides information on the city network of bike lanes and multi-use paths.  More about the City's Bike and Pedestrian Program

Economic Centers

Downtown Mesa
With outstanding connectivity via light rail, downtown Mesa is the preeminent east valley location for urban renewal and economic investment. As the East Valley’s most authentic and historic commercial district downtown Mesa is home to 490 businesses and 7,000 jobs; an outstanding arts, culture, and entertainment district; unique retail; foody dining, craft breweries, and numerous family-friendly events.
Downtown also is home to Mesa’s burgeoning Innovation District, a place where makerspaces, technology accelerators, nationally recognized universities and cutting-edge businesses create a diversity of economic, place and networking assets in one destination. It is home to Benedictine University, Mesa Community College, Northern Arizona University, and the future home of ASU @ Mesa City Center - a 115,000 square foot facility that will host next-generation programs in digital and sensory technology, experience design, film and media arts - adjacent to a new urban public open space, The Plaza @ Mesa City Center and a publicly accessible creator and collaboration space, The Studios @ Mesa City Center.
Falcon District
The Falcon District is uniquely positioned, home to a large cluster of world-class aerospace and defense companies on and surrounding Falcon Field Airport, as well as leading-edge, international players in the advanced manufacturing and business services sectors. Top employers include The Boeing Company, MD Helicopter, DAICEL/Special Devices Inc., and Nammo Talley, these and other companies employ more than 18,000 people in the area. More companies are moving in every day, with 250,000 square feet of industrial space constructed last year and an additional 220,000 square feet to be added in the upcoming year, there are plenty of opportunities for new business attraction. The Falcon Tech Center, a 63-acre proposed technology park, is also poised and ready for development.
Fiesta District
Once a destination for retail shopping and dining, the Fiesta District is a business district featuring cutting-edge industry clusters, skilled workforce, higher education, easy market access and extensive infrastructure. Santander Consumer USA took over former vacant retail space on Southern Avenue bringing 970 new jobs in 110,000 square feet of Class A office space. Additionally, National General Lender services has created 470 new jobs in 70,000 square feet of Class A office space. The Hilton hotel in the heart of the district recently completed a $14 million renovation. Southern Avenue Villas, a $45 million urban-style 354-unit multifamily development opened in 2016 bringing new residences to the area.
Mesa Gateway District
Already anchored by Apple’s Global Command Center, the Elliot Road Technology Corridor has seen over 370 acres sold in just the last 18 months to five renowned manufacturing and mission critical companies; Niagara Bottling, Digital Realty, EdgeConneX, EdgeCore, and CyrusOne.  The full build-out of these campuses will result in billions of dollars in capital investment and hundreds of new high-tech jobs for the area.
Ray Road currently has projects in various stages of development and the entitlement process that will lead to the construction of at least ten (10) new industrial buildings totaling over 450,000 sq. ft. within the next year. 
The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority (“PMGAA”) Board of Directors recently approved two land leases that will result in the first new privately-funded hangar developments in nearly a decade. Aviation Performance Solutions, LLC (“APS”) and Wetta Ventures, LLC each have plans to develop aircraft hangar facilities on PMGAA-owned property.
 ASU-Poly continues to plan for their future ASU-Poly Innovation District located on 330+ acres.
City staff is working with Union Pacific (UP), land owners and SE Mesa industries to pursue the Pecos Industrial Rail Access and Train Extension project – a five-mile industrial rail extension to serve CMC, FujiFILM, and others while also serving 2,000+ acres of undeveloped industrial land. 
Mesa Riverview Area
Mesa Riverview is known across the country as the Spring Training Home for Chicago Cub’s Major League Baseball at Sloan Park. However, it also features 1.3 million square-feet of retail, restaurant and hospitality offerings, the award-winning Riverview Public Park & Lake, and has become one of Mesa’s newest economic activity centers.
With over 425,000 SF of Class A Office space, the 4-building Waypoint complex at Riverview houses companies like Mitel, NextCare, EPS Group, American Traffic Solutions, and Cognizant, who celebrated the grand opening of their newest U.S. Technology & Service Delivery Center in August 2018, bringing 500 new jobs to the community.
Riverview is also the future location of Union @ Riverview, a proposed 1.35 million square-foot Class A Office campus development aimed to attract Fortune 500 companies and thousands of quality jobs to the area in what will become the largest office project ever constructed in Mesa.
Other Placemaking Links