Five years ago in 2012 the ever-popular Dennis Kavanagh, now active in life after his long-term gig serving on the Mesa City Council, planted the seed of an idea to build a residential affordable live-and-work space for artists here south of Main Street others teamed-up to cultivate, to plan and to finance what broke new ground here in Mesa today on land donated by the city: Mesa ArtSpace Lofts on Hilbert Street.One-by-one, small and incremental projects are filling in some of the vacant parcels of land, laying-fallow-for-years waiting for a dynamic group of individuals and organizations to step-in sprouting organic development from the bottom-up, jumping over hurdles in the planning and development process time and time again. Today was a good day in the future for Mesa.
Readers of this blog can follow-up by waiting to watch what Michael Trailor, Head of the Arizona Department of Housing, had to say in an interview with a crew from Mesa Channel 11.
The official program adds New Leaf to the list of Community Partners and the Firefly Scientists' Foundation to the list that made philanthropic gifts.
The host was Heidi Zimmer, Senior VP Property Development for ArtSpace projects,
Royce Manuel, a representative from the Salt River Pima Maricopa, gave a NATIVE AMERICAN BLESSING to the land that has been vacant for years.
Terry Benelli, [seen at left] LISC Phoenix Executive Director, made remarks recounting the development of this project, as well as Wendy Holmes from ArtSpace, and a downtown artist seen in the image to the left who related his own his own development and growth as an artist here in Mesa - something he could not imagine five years ago.
For more information > artspace.org/Mesa
Project Architects: Architectural Resource Team
General Contractor: Chasse Building Team
Property Management: Dunlop & Magee
The newsroom for the City of Mesa had this to say:
Groundbreaking ceremony held for Mesa Artspace Lofts
Post Date: 05/24/2017 11:47 AM
Artspace Projects joined with community partners in Mesa this morning for a ceremonial groundbreaking to celebrate the start of construction on the Mesa Artspace Lofts at 155 S. Hibbert.
“Artspace will be an excellent addition to downtown Mesa,” Mayor John Giles said. “The proximity of this project to the Mesa Arts Center will connect artists directly to Mesa’s growing arts and culture community.”
The Minneapolis-based nonprofit Artspace, in partnership with the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) and the City of Mesa, is developing the Mesa Artspace Lofts, a mixed-use arts project blending 50 units of live/work housing for artists and their families, space for non-profit partners and space for community events and gatherings.This project is a Transit Oriented Development site located a block from the new light rail corridor, near major arts and culture assets and other downtown amenities. Construction on Mesa Artspace Lofts begins in late May with an anticipated completion in early 2018.
“We have been anxiously awaiting the addition of Artspace to Downtown Mesa. As a leader in developing quality projects for the arts community, we are thrilled to have Artspace build this creative space to help foster growth in the arts economy in downtown,” said District 4 Councilmember Chris Glover. “Mesa will join a prestigious list of cities like Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans and Portland, just to name a few, who are proud homes to Artspace communities.”
Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) Director Michael Trailor added, "Artspace Lofts provides a unique affordable live/work opportunity in downtown Mesa for thriving artists to live and pursue their craft."Following the speaking program, a ceremonial groundbreaking took place, featuring Art Shovels created by a dozen local artists. The event was sponsored by JP Morgan Chase.
This is Artspace’s first project in the State of Arizona and the 50th nationwide.Funding for the project has come from:
- JP Morgan Chase [Foundation]
- LISC Phoenix
- Arizona Community Foundation [Impact Loan Fund]
- City of Mesa HOME Funds
- Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
- Raymond James [Tax Credit Funds]
“Artspace is thrilled that our first Arizona project will create permanent affordable spaces for artists and their families in downtown Mesa,” said Artspace President Kelley Lindquist. “The partnership and support between Artspace, NEDCO, the City and Mesa Arts Center has been tremendous and we are especially grateful to the City for their vision and leadership to help us make this project a reality.”Contact: Melodie Bahan, V.P. Communications