Fiesta District - Streetscape
Implement the streetscape improvements discussed in the Fiesta District Handbook, which incorporated input from area businesses and residents. The Fiesta District needs to have streetscape improvements that define a sense of place for the district. These improvements should include wider sidewalks, more open space to create opportunities for community gathering and activity, more landscaping and better lighting.
The Southern Avenue Streetscape Improvements project is the first project from the City of Mesa’s Fiesta District Implementation Plan along Southern Avenue. The improvements will create a uniquely identifiable area for Mesa that is economically vibrant, pedestrian friendly and an active urban destination. The project is scheduled to begin in April 2013 and is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2014. This project will transition Southern Avenue to four through lanes (two in each direction) from east of Dobson Road to Alma School Road. Other improvements include wider sidewalks and landscaping behind the new curbs. New amenities will be installed, which include benches, street lighting, pedestrian lighting, trash cans, bike racks and traffic signals. Colored paving enhancements will be constructed at the intersections of Southern and Alma School, Southern and Stewart and Southern and Longmore. Vibrant monument entry signs will be constructed at the intersections of Alma School Road and Southern Avenue and on Southern Avenue west of Sycamore. http://www.mesaaz.gov/engineering/Projects/SouthernStreetscape/SouthernStreetscape.aspx
Dan Konzen commented
Times are a changing in the Fiesta Area. Please check-out the related iMesa idea for this area and cast your vote to make this happen: http://bit.ly/1414qLr
Develop the North-South exposures first.
Here is a game to play:
Name a City that successfully developed an East-West running street before the North-South street filled up?
What environmental factors influence the successful results that everyone is looking for?
It's good to see the City trying to make a positive difference in this distressed area!
Fiesta Property Owner commented
While I am certainly happy to see the investment in the area, I am not thrilled with the narrowing of Southern Avenue. One of the real assets of the area is the heavy traffic flow. If the streets are narrowed, traffic will look to avoid the area thereby reducing the long-term retail potential.
I hope this project goes forward in a smart way that will attract people that do not live here, but will enhance the lives of us that do. A facelift will be very nice. I hope it includes lots of nice landscaping as well as entertainment and recreation - restaurants, movies, parks (baseball?) I do agree that traffic could be a problem, but right now, it is just a place to get through and not stop.
I'm all for a facelift when the economy turns around. Right now however it would be nice to keep the traffic flowing with 3 lanes so customers can reach their destinations. This plan seems to emulate Mill Ave but Mill has a high concentration of revenue creating businesses that attract foot traffic. If we turn the Fiesta District into a spacious park with some scattered restaurants nobody will want to go because reaching these destinations will be a chore (traffic, parking and walking distance.) Mesa already has parks and open spaces to host events. What it needs is shopping centers which offer more than just antique furniture, fabrics, religious bookstores etc. You won't find many consumers wanting to walk down the district for those attractions. I'm fine with these types of businesses but you need a convenient way to get there (3 lanes of traffic.) Save the large walkways for dense business clusters.
Fiesta District Resident commented
I think we are having an identity crisis in Mesa and that is not very reassuring to dynamic businesses.*Because* while Mesa as a whole has a lot of potential - by appearance, I think it looks like we are a community that you invest in if you like long shots, Hail Mary's and long walks up rocky hills. So if landscaping helps the confusion - well then I'll retract.....but if it doesn't- then it's a waste of resources and every penny counts right now. I think we do landscaping after we create a friendly business atmosphere. My 2 cents are....we have got to make them offers that they can't refuse and we have got to look less to bureaucrats and more to the invisible hand that makes commerce flow.
There are thousands of people that work and go to school in the area, it's a shame there isn't more to offer them to stay in the area during lunch, dinner, and maybe even some night-life. We can come up with all kinds of reasons why Mesa shouldn't do this but that will only delay it longer. Fiesta District has been struggling for too long and key, large property businesses in the area obviously aren't ready or willing to step up to the plate....and it doesn't seem like they even care if there are huge empty lots and fences around everything. I'm tired of driving past there to make purchases somewhere else and giving other areas my tax money!! I'm looking forward to any improvements! Tell Mesa not to wait any longer!
I believe this proposed change is a public taking for commercial property owners. Most commercial properties are in the vicinity are large retail spaces that previously accommodated destination retail uses (people drive from further distances to shop for destination goods, as opposed to impulse goods). The best use for these retail boxes is R & D (light industrial and back office) uses. R & D will bring jobs to the area and give the remaining retail shops a chance at survival. Retail will not likely be feasible in this area for 10+ years (if ever), since most large chain-store retailers relocated to Mesa Riverview Shopping Center (also struggling) and the passage of AZ immigration laws.
Will the additional people (walking along Southern Av.) more likely be vagrants (without vehicles) or shoppers? Shoppers (previously driving by) are more likely to take more accessible streets than Southern Av., adding more nails to the coffins or the few remaining retailers.