Church Announces Redevelopment Plans for Mesa Arizona Temple Area
Contributed By Jill Adair, Church News contributor
- “Mesa and Main” is a new construction project on 4½ acres west of the Mesa Temple.
- The old visitors’ center will be demolished, and a relocated visitors’ and family history discovery center will be built.
In an effort to protect and revitalize the area surrounding the Mesa Arizona Temple, which is currently closed for renovations, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plans to begin construction this year on a redevelopment project to the west that includes residential and commercial development.
After years of planning in cooperation with city government and local development groups, officials revealed details for “Mesa and Main,” a new construction project on 4½ acres west of the temple along Mesa’s Main Street light rail corridor, between Mesa Drive and LeSueur.
“The temple redevelopment project is a welcomed addition to downtown Mesa,” Mayor John Giles said. “We have many projects on tap that will help spark the revitalization of downtown, and this is one of them. I’m excited to see the new homes and businesses that will welcome people into the heart of Mesa.”
“You will see a transformation, a revitalization,” said Dale Bills, communications director for City Creek Reserve Inc., an investment affiliate of the LDS Church that previously developed City Creek, a 23-acre urban community of residences, offices, and retail stores in downtown Salt Lake City.
“Mesa and Main represents years of patient planning in cooperation with city government, business development groups, and other stakeholders,” Bills said at a press conference Thursday. “We hope City Creek’s commitment to significant investment at Mesa and Main will serve as a catalyst to encourage further development here in the heart of downtown Mesa.”
The project includes a new mixed-use community of 240 apartments, 12 townhomes, 1.6 acres of landscaped open space, approximately 12,000 square feet of ground floor retail, and 450 stalls of underground parking. These elements will replace vacant lots and buildings and seven single-family rental houses that have been requested to be torn down for the project.
“This is a beautiful and well-designed project, said Mike Hutchinson, executive vice president of the East Valley Partnership and former Mesa city manager. “This will be a great example for other development interests in the downtown.”
“In a few short years, this will be an area of the community that we’ll all be proud of,” he said.
David Davis, principal with Scottsdale-based Dale Gardon Design, who worked with CCRI on the plans, said most of the historic buildings along First Avenue will remain but the old family history building at First Avenue and LeSueur will be replaced with residential housing. He said the city has plans to put in a median, more trees along the side of the avenue, and parallel parking spaces.
Renovation plans for the adjacent Mesa Temple block call for demolishing and relocating the temple’s visitors’ center. A new 18,000-square-foot visitors’ and family history discovery center will be built on the corner of Main Street and LeSueur as part of the project.
Rendering of the Mesa Arizona Temple Family Discovery Center.
Matt Baldwin, real estate development director for CCRI, said vibrant and successful downtowns need people living there, working there, operating and frequenting commercial businesses, attending school, and enjoying cultural and civic events. This project will supplement what the city has done and is doing to create that.
“Our desire is to create an environment to provide people with a beautiful place to live and large enough to advance Mesa’s ongoing revitalization that encourages additional development in downtown, and does it in a context complementary to Mesa’s cultural past,” Baldwin said.
This project will be home to more than 500 new downtown residents and is slated to begin this fall with completion in late 2020 or early 2021, he said.
Referring to this as Phase 1, officials said the Church owns additional property around the temple that will be redeveloped, with future plans to be announced.