20 June 2017

Clearing An EyeSore > Auto Nation Demolition Makes Way For Re/Generating The New Urban DTMesa

Imagine if you can, dear readers, what is in-the-works for this entire city-block of prime real estate holdings on Main Street here in downtown Mesa.
Demolition started on Saturday to clean out ugly remnants of a car dealership that was there for 85 years.
You can see the identifiers for not one, but three parcels of properties all adjacent to one another in close proximity to the $100 M International-Design Award Winning Mesa Arts Center that was built 12 years ago one block to the west.
This is a bird's -eye-view of what Brown & Brown Chevrolet and Auto Nation looked like from the air above just a few years ago looking east into the car-dominated urban-to-suburban sprawl that has fast-driven investments for economic development out of what is the City of Mesa's core where there's an all-ready infrastructure established and in-place.
It's not know at this time if there's something called a "Brownfield issue" that might have contaminated this ground where a car sales/service dealership had operations for 85 years, but there are clean-ups and remediation of hazards available after EPA site evaluations and assessments if they are part of the development process. Time will tell.
New Infill construction and adaptive re-use of existing properties is part of the very-welcome downtown transformation  moving forward with Transit-Oriented Development if you want to take a look at what Main Street looked like in the 1950's good-old glory-days.
Notice the huge gigantic billboard-like facades towering above one-or-two stories, all designed to catch the attention of drivers driving-in or driving-out of what was the commercial center of the City of Mesa.
That nostalgic honky-tonk era downtown is - thankfully - now gone to the suburbs. People who live there can now enjoy it all the want in the expanding sprawl they like to call home.
Cleaning-up-the-mess left by car dealerships on Main Street started on Saturday when heavy demolition equipment got brought on-site by the construction company contracted to clear the site. 
They started knocking down some of the buildings leaving piles of debris to get carted away. What you see in the image below is just the start to remove some of the existing buildings that will leave what used-to-be the showroom intact on the south side of Main Street directly across from a low-profile 3-story parking facility owned by the City of Mesa on a tree-lined block.

At this point-in-time June 2017 it's not clear or 'no-one-seems-to-know' what is getting envisioned, imagined or planned here with all sorts of different plans and/or proposals that have been thrown-in or thrown-out from both private stakeholders for a Mormon-Tabernacle-Choir-style concert hall that could compete with the Mesa Arts Center and public interest groups rallying for an open-space public park walkable thoroughfare with fountain water features and mixed use commercial/office and residential living/working spaces.
This is one man who might the hold the key to how this new urban infill project can re-generate The New Urban Downtown Mesa:

John Graham
Sunbelt Holdings.  

BTW: He's not a one-trick pony that gets blind-sided by just one opportunity here and there, although he does have a history in suburban housing development.
He's worked wonders in Phoenix and Tempe [go find out what they are] for urban infill projects and at the same time has a new one in-the-works @ Mesa's Elliot Road 

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