Build "BYU Mesa" campus on city owned land at Univ & Mesa Dr. This would bring foot trafic and jobs to downtown, creating an economic center to support the revitalization efforts on Main St. A campus at this location would also leverage the LDS Temple on Main Street, Mesa and other East Valley cities large LDS population, the Downtown library, and an opportunity to revitalize or redevelop city owned housing on the north side of University between Mesa Dr & Center.
A campus at this location would bring an economic center that could support the previous revitalization efforts along main street, new proposed zoning changes for downtown Mesa, as well as the coming light rail to the area.
Steph G. commented
Make a BYU Mesa with two locations; one could be in East East Mesa almost to AJ Mesa, on the Border of Mesa and Gilbert cities. Nothing is out there and there is tons of land to be used. It would revamp the area and be convenient for Gilbert and Mesa citizens. In addition having a campus in West Downtown Mesa could help that area and the business down there as well as those who wouldn't want to travel as far as the initial campus thus satisfying and revamping both ends of Mesa with two BYU campus locations.
Steve Cox commented
I love this idea. I've considered it myself before. If Mesa Dr isn't big enough, the former GM Proving Grounds are an option for a large campus. (Is that Gaylord Resort thing gonna happen or not?) It would bring lots of traffic trough Mesa Gateway Airport.
Wherever it is, there is definitely sufficient Mormon population to support it (and non-Mormons that would like a lower cost but comparable quality alternative to ASU, BYU accepts non-Mormons FYI).
The Mormon Church maintains its property exceptionally well, doesn't ask for tax-breaks or subsidies, and sometimes pays for road and/or utility improvements surrounding its property (see Phoenix and Gilbert Temples and how generous the Church has been in paying for power line downing, etc., while the Cubs want us to subsidize everything.)
Relative to the rest of the nation, the Phoenix Area is very undereducated. I am very pleased to hear that the Catholic-affiliated Benedictine University is putting a campus in downtown Mesa. Awesome. And we need more. Either this BYU option, making MCC a 4-year school (while keeping its classes financially accessible), changing ASU Poly into a lower cost Mesa Univ., or the creation of a new Mesa Univ., based downtown. (Please, please, please no for-profit schools.)
As far as the BYU option, the City Council probably doesn't need to do much of anything initially. The mayor might consider calling BYU's board and saying "Hey, have you considered a BYU-AZ? Here's some land information and statistics regarding the demand for fairly-priced higher education, etc."
There's certainly truth to the argument that Mesa has an uber-Mormon image and may want to diversify. It may make more sense for BYU-AZ to be out near Gateway for that very reason. Perhaps encouraging Benedictine to expand downtown or have state/city-sponsored education based downtown is what needs to happen in addition to BYU-AZ out near Gateway.
Either way, there's gotta be some college kids to help fuel the downtown revitalization.
James McGuire commented
I have often wondered why there wasn't a byu-arizona. Byu in Provo is pretty tough to get into and I would imagine the demand is there.
Jerry seeman commented
Ever hear of the separation of Church & State or the Constitution of the United States?
Jerry seeman commented
Ever hear of separation of Church and State? Ever hear of the constitution of the United States?
John Gilliam commented
I thought that was going to be a nursing and technology campus. If BYU Mesa is a good idea. The Hawaii campus is great. I am not mormon but having it left undeveloped is a total east and encourages blight. Just look at the neighboring shopping center.
Daniel Wohlslagel / Duke Manor Mesa commented
Not sure why a private University with an LDS focus is such a great fit for Downtown Mesa. If anything- it's somewhat of a tired cliche that Mesa is "Mormon", as the city actually has a larger Catholic population ( we may even have a larger Hispanic population than Mormon). The Mormon Temple is a beautiful cultural landmark, but not everyone who lives within the neighborhoods surrounding Downtown Mesa is a follower. There are also several beautiful established Churches close to downtown which hold alot of meaning for people, and which are not LDS.
Part of the reason for attracting a University setting to Downtown is that College districts develop as cultural and entertainment destinations. We should take a holistic look at exactly who we're attracting to Downtown and why- and avoid sentimental matchmaking.
Patrick Dockens commented
While I agree that a not-for-profit university (in other words no U of Phx., etc.) is a good idea for the down-town area, I don't want to see the city government sponsoring a religiously affiliated university. That would be favoring one religion over others and is unconstitutional. Why not just create a public university?
Will Novak commented
This is a great idea and something I've advocated for a long time. I'm not LDS & couldn't care less about the religion one way or another. Being biased against a religion shouldn't keep people from seeing this is a sensible idea.
BYU already has BYU-Hawai'i and BYU-Idaho, BYU- Arizona* just makes sense. Leverage the large Mormon population already in Mesa, the major Temple and the huge tract of open land and you'll have a new major Downtown engine.
Having college kids who predominately live on Campus means more people in the area 24/7 to shop, play and work Downtown. It means a built in user base for the new LRT extension.
Sadly Mesa likely lacks the vision for this sort of project, instead they'll chase after 'for profit' schools like U of PHX, DeVry, etc. which are not real economic engines.
*I imagine the school would call it BYU-Arizona not BYU-Mesa as thats how their current naming convention works.
Arizona Native commented
Bear: If someone would analyze this idea I think a lot of people would be surprised how well a private university would draw people to the downtown area--Mormon or not. Keep your bigotted religious comments off this board.
Really? Continuing to Mormon-ize the city is the answer? If that's the direction then good luck to Mesa.