By Maria Polletta for The Arizona Republic
Mesa officials on April 14 revealed the likely location for an Arizona State University presence downtown, proposing a mixed-use campus that would integrate existing city buildings, new educational facilities and commercial space.
The project would cover the square block bounded by Main, Center and First streets and Centennial Way — known as the Mesa City Center — and part of the Mesa Arts Center campus on the south side of Main.
Mesa owns the land, which could accelerate the development timeline by eliminating the need for acquisition deals and related expenses. Taxpayers would still be on the hook for tens of millions in construction costs, though, an issue they could be asked to vote on as soon as November.
“Conceptually, the idea is that we’re creating an urban plaza,” architect Phil Weddle told the City Council Thursday morning. “We’re really trying to create a strong, vibrant pedestrian environment at the heart of the City Center site.”
Early plans show ASU’s primary building would sit on the northern edge of the Mesa Arts Center site, facing Main Street. The 4- to 5-story facility, with restaurants and other commercial space on the first level, would be about 64KSF.
Two other, 4-story buildings — at 96KSF and 60KSF — would be constructed near City Hall and the City Council Chambers off First Street.
Together, the three facilities would hit ASU’s target campus size of about 200KSF, encouraging movement across Main and throughout the city core.
The tentative site proposal marks the first significant project detail shared since Mayor John Giles announced the possibility of a downtown satellite campus at his February State of the City address. City and university officials began formal talks in late March and have a June 10 deadline to outline an intergovernmental agreement.
City and ASU officials are expected to come back to the City Council with further details in early May.
Read more at The Arizona Republic