"Gates" by the entrance/exit to downtown Mesa
Not as in the kind that close, but rather like, say, in San Francisco where they have a visual cue that you are entering Chinatown. It might help to differentiate the used car lots from the real downtown.
Joel Reed commented
I like the idea of the districts. I think the branding and the sign-age should continue, ala the new Fiesta district branding.
Daniel Wohlslagel / Duke Manor Mesa commented
Most definitely. Downtown Mesa needs it's own "Identity" to help cue people that it is a specialized retail area.
People in the Metro Phoenix area are used to very specific kinds of retail experiences created by design, marketing, and merchandising. Downtown needs a comprehensive "Branding".