make Mesa's"Central Park" at Mesa Dr/University. It will attract residences and people to downtown
John Gilliam commented
We need jobs. A park will bring people out but we need to build employment faster then growing grass.
How about getting rid of the apartments north and west of Pioneer park and expanding Pioneer? I see police cars outside the apartments to the north and west quite often.
If you expanded Pioneer there should an be agreement to do so and keep the Presbyterian church and YMCA. Keep the positive community influences like those.
I bought there years ago thinking the city wouldn't let the area around the temple turn to rot, but I was wrong. I really liked my well-built bungalo that had charm, a large yard and old trees. I eventually had to move out because of the drug dealing in the park and on the streets.
I used to call the police about the drug dealers - take pictures of them dealing, pictures of license plates where sales were being made right in front of my house. This was in the middle of the day. Still, nothing was done. During one neighborhood event I pointed out to a policeman someone selling crack just 1/2 block away; nothing was done. If this neighborhood was cleaned up, I'd move back to my old house.
Or turn the apartments into low-income senior citizen apartments and get rid of most of the crime.
Back in the 70's Mesa abandoned its historic residential downtown in favor of a big city convention center. Obviously that purpose has run its course and now we need to go back to what Mesa once was, a lovely place to live.
The original town center should return to being a unique area with beautiful homes. People are tired of the cookie cutter stucco homes and the long commutes from the outer areas of the valley. City leaders should create zoning restrictions that will encourage historic restoration and new homes that look like they are old to fit into existing areas. If people can be assured of neighborhood associations that will protect their investments, they will come. City government will need to be involved to act as the HOA. (I know that everyone hates HOAs but that is the only way that a complete project can get started. Once the lovely neighborhoods become apparant, the older areas will blossom and property values will increase.
This plan could encompass the urban garden ideas as well as the splashpark idea. I am so tired of seeing that dirty empty lot!
Janice Hancock Hannah commented
I, myself, live in Gold Canyon, East of Mesa. But, what Mesa does or does not do effects all of us in the East end of the valley. Mesa is our main venue for shopping, eating out, and entertainment.
The Mesa Downtown Area has some tremendous things going for it like the The Mesa Art Center complex. I like what they've done with the activities on Saturdays in that area as well.
The downtown store area could be quite charming with an abundance of flowers, trees, and art work which in turn might attract more retail/coffee shoppes, wine bars with jazz,, music on the corner, things that many of us would make the trip to experience
A resounding YES that a "Central Park" area would be a tremendous asset. If it were incorporated into A heavily planted downtown area, it would be a wonderful place to spend a day, an evening
(Glendale's downtown/Murphy park uses their area well by bringing in entertainment, art events, children's interest activities, thus people are there in the immediate downtown area for shopping and eating. )
I applaude Mayor Smith and the City of Mesa for getting impute, for their far reaching vision for what Mesa has , what it can be. Some "Fixes" are inexpensive but just man hours....some "Fixes" will be monitary but in the end, will be a very good investment for the City of Mesa.
Why not combine a couple of the ideas for a "Central Park" and an Urban Garden. Not only can you combine a set Park feel, but also employ the use of an Urban Garden that has Mesa citizens maintain. Having several locations of the park used for this Urban Garden would be a great mainstay to a Central Park.
Better yet, why not do something similar to this at the proposed site of the Cubs new stadium. The riverbed area has turned into somewhat of a wetlands area, why not make that whole area like a Central Park feel instead of the Mesa Dr/University location along with some bike/walking paths that can stretch from Price to Longmore encompassing that whole area along with Riverview.
The empty lot at Mesa Dr/University seems like an obvious choice, but look right across the street at the boarded up old projects. I think it would be better for the city to bulldoze that eyesore and extend Escobedo park which is already connected to it.
I'd rather see an empty lot than boarded up projects.
David Yauch commented
Frank, I don't think you are alone in expressing a desire to help the city with this project. I think the location could use more careful study, to make sure we are eating up the largest amount of vacant/run down land in order to make the greatest impact at the lowest cost.
One huge hurdle is that this project will necessarily need public funds to move forward. There is very little chance that a citizen's group alone could raise all of the needed funds and guarantee that those funds will also be constantly available for upkeep. The citizens of Mesa have shown repeatedly that they will fund large projects if they find them beneficial, so maybe the city's role could be to formally draw up the project and propose it to the taxpayers for consideration.
Frank Bennett commented
Every great city has a large park at or near the center-- and look at the surroundings of New York's Central Park. We have the and lots of planning expertise. I will enthusiastically work and raise money for this project.