Revitalization of Fiesta District progressing
By: Randy Policar
05/17/12 3:03 PM
The City of Mesa’s plan to revitalize the Fiesta District has taken another step with the announcement that Albright College and the City of Mesa have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to bring Albright College, based in Reading, Pennsylvania, and its non-traditional student programs to the Fiesta District. Albright intends to start recruiting students immediately and begin offering classes at Mesa Financial Plaza, 1201 S. Alma School Road, in the heart of the Fiesta District, in the fall of 2012.
“The announcement of Albright College coming to the Mesa Financial Plaza is a coup for the Fiesta District,” District 3 Councilmember Dennis Kavanaugh said. “The City is continually researching different projects that will help to re-energize the area.”
In addition to Albright College, several other projects are currently on-going within the Fiesta District. The Poca Fiesta Shopping Center on Alma School Road will be getting a new owner who will aggressively recruit new tenants and remodel the front of the buildings. New businesses have taken over existing structures and have remodeled the old buildings, including the Jimmy John’s restaurant at 1730 W. Southern Ave.
Mesa Community College (MCC) is doing its part to help in the revitalization, as there are several MCC projects currently underway. MCC is the owner of the former Harkins Theater location on Longmore Drive and is in the design phase for an addition and remodel of the structure to make it a performing arts center. The school will be breaking ground this summer on a $2 million art gallery on campus. The school is also in the design phase of a new Mesa Community College entry portal which could include building a new 17,000 square foot structure to serve as the campus entryway from Southern Avenue.
The Southern Avenue Improvement Plan, which was recently presented to City Council, is in the design phase with groundbreaking expected in early 2013. The plan included a new police station at Southern Avenue and Alma School Road which will be breaking ground this summer with an expected completion date of summer of 2013.
“The City of Mesa is committed to the Fiesta District,” Kavanaugh said. “With the help of our local businesses, Mesa Community College and other higher education institutions, we are working as a team to bring new life to one our key areas in the City of Mesa.”
For more information on projects in the Fiesta District and throughout the City of Mesa, visit http://www.mesaaz.gov/bettermesa.
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