So, if you hear “Entertainment District" in the news, what is the first thing you think of? For many, it has been bars and restaurants. In Mesa, they seem to be trying to make the point that they are “open for business” contrary to what many have thought of in the past.
Last week, the Mesa City Council unanimously voted in favor of creating the Downtown Mesa Entertainment District.
AZCentral ran an article titled “Mesa to pursue nightlife district” telling us that downtown entertainment district is basically a tool created by a new law that says cities can designate up to 1 square mile as an entertainment district where a state-imposed 300-foot buffer between schools and churches and bars / nightclubs would no longer apply.
From what I have heard, Mesa is targeting areas roughly bounded by Extension and Mesa Drive to the East and West and parts of University to Broadway on the North and South as being part of an entertainment or nightlife district. Call it what you want, this is just another in a long list of great moves by Mayor Smith and his people in a city that so many people had / have written off for dead. Oh yeah, all of the areas being discussed are right in the heart of where the Mesa light rail extension is going to be carrying passengers in a few short years. Can you say… “Economic development?!?”
“The Downtown Mesa Entertainment District is proposed to be approximately .75 square miles, or roughly 485 acres. It focuses on the urban core of downtown Mesa, includes the current light rail corridor, commercial areas and areas where development and/or greater densities are being encouraged.” City of Mesa
Mayor Smith has talked about the fact that many would-be businesses have passed on downtown Mesa as a destination to set up shop because they feared an environment where a liquor license would be impossible to obtain. This perception of the area is slowly fading and designations like this entertainment district will continue to help change the environment.
More To Come:
Places like Monsterland, a horror-themed restaurant and BAR in downtown Mesa and the nearby Desert Eagle Brewing Company are currently bringing in new dollars just like any growing downtown environment would hope to do. As new businesses head to Mesa to follow all of the college students that will soon be living there, it will be hard not to see some significant changes.
To be sure, there are several challenges and the area is far from perfect, but the decision makers in Mesa appear to be calling some savvy shots that are being heard far and wide.
For now, prices seem VERY reasonable in the downtown Mesa area. Check out the list of available properties near the future Mesa light rail extension below.