Improvements to Fiesta District and southwest Mesa underway
By: Randy Policar
11/5/12 4:03 PM
The revitalization of the Fiesta District and southwest Mesa, long a passion of District 3 Councilmember Dennis Kavanaugh, is underway as several projects designed to improve the area have begun. The re-development of the area includes a wide array of projects, from health care to restaurants to retail to education to hotels.
“The City of Mesa has always made the Fiesta District and southwest Mesa a priority,” Councilmember Kavanaugh said. “The amount of new construction, new projects and renovations going on in the area is a wonderful step in the right direction to once again make it a destination for visitors to Mesa.”
Among the new facilities is Adelante Healthcare, which opened its newest location at 1705 W. Main St. on Nov. 2. The facility is on the campus of the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT). EVIT health sciences students, including medical assisting, licensed practical nursing, phlebotomy, ultrasound technology, and dental assisting, as well as culinary and medical technology departments will be offered opportunities to rotate with experienced professionals at Adelante to complete their clinicals/apprenticeships. Adelante Mesa is the first community health center in the nation to be submitted for Platinum U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) interiors certification. The site was designed and built for environmental health, quality, efficiency and sustainability.
The Courtyard by Marriott, 1221 S. Westwood Drive, is scheduled to undergo a $2.5 million renovation of its lobby and all 149 rooms. The remodel will outfit the hotel in the new Refreshing Business lobby concept, designed to give travelers the flexibility to work and socialize however they choose while on the road. The new lobby will feature a brand new design, in addition to GoBoard technology, a 52-inch LCD touch screen where guests can access local information, maps, local restaurants, directions and news updates. Also included in the renovation will be The Bistro, which offers food and beverage options previously unavailable at the hotel.
The Hilton Phoenix/East Mesa, 1011 W. Holmes Ave., is also renovating its location. All 260 guest rooms will be remodeled in the 26-year old hotel to provide a fresh, clean and upscale contemporary appeal to each room. Each room will receive new carpeting, new tile, upgraded showers, new paint and new fixtures. The hotel will also revamp its business center, adding state of the art equipment complete with remote printing, Wi-Fi and the latest Apple products. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
The Dobson Ranch Inn and Suites, 1666 S. Dobson Road, is also undergoing improvements. The property landscaping and lighting is being redone to help enhance the guest experience.
Several new businesses are also coming to the Fiesta District. LongHorn Steakhouse, a popular national restaurant chain with more than 350 locations in 33 states, will open its first Arizona location at 1434 S. Alma School Road at Fiesta Mall. The Poca Fiesta Shopping Center at Alma School and Southern is undergoing major renovations, which include the additions of new tenants Big Lots and Blast Fitness.
The City of Mesa has also made a significant investment in the Fiesta District. In June, ground was broken on the new Fiesta District Police Station, the first new police station in Mesa in more than 10 years. The station, which is being built at the northwest corner of W. Grove Avenue and S. Westwood, will relieve overcrowding at the Dobson Police Station and enhance the revitalization of the Fiesta District. The 34,000 square foot building is designed to include the Watch Command, a locker room/fitness area, a community room and a fueling station. It will be the third LEED certified City building in Mesa. The approximately $10.1 million construction project is funded from general obligation bonds for public safety approved by Mesa voters in November, 2008. The $12 million Southern Avenue streetscape improvement project is also expected to break ground in spring of 2013. The design will include wide pedestrian pathways integrating additional landscape and Fiesta District identification signs. The construction will take approximately one year to complete.
Mesa Community College, an anchor of the Fiesta District, is also making upgrades to its campus. MCC broke ground in August on a new Performing Arts Center and Art Gallery at the former Harkins Theatre Complex on Longmore Street. The Harkins Fiesta 5 Theatre originally opened in October 1979 and was operated by Mann Theatres. In the late 1980’s Harkins acquired several of the Mann Theatres, including the Fiesta 5. Thirty years later, MCC purchased the Harkins and Fuddruckers properties for future expansion and the Fiesta 5 closed in May 2009. Scheduled to open spring 2014, The MCC Performing Arts Center (PAC) is being designed by Jones Studio of Phoenix. The unique PAC design will include adding a 462 seat theatre venue to the present Harkins building. Extensive remodeling of the present theater will provide for a band room, choral room and production support space. Musical plays, dance recitals, band and choral performances, recitals and more will be held in the new facility.
Banner Desert Hospital and Cardon Children’s Medical Center is undergoing a rejuvenation of the building’s exterior, including a new identification sign at the corner of Dobson Road and Southern Avenue The $10.7 million project is expected to be completed in April of 2013.
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