Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Councilman Elect Glover

Yesterday District four elected a new councilman to represent Downtown Mesa. I have taken an excerpt from an article in the Az Republic in July about Christopher.
"My name is Christopher Glover, and I am a candidate for the Mesa City Council District 4 seat. Born and raised in Mesa, my lifelong ties to the area make me an ideal candidate to stand up for the issues that are most important to Mesa citizens.

Recently, I graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a bachelor of arts in political science and minors in Spanish and Latin American history.

I have worked for the law firm of Udall, Shumway and Lyons, as well as the office manager for our family business.

I have seen firsthand the importance small businesses have on the economy and the community, and I am eager to bring this knowledge to the Mesa City Council."

Changes are coming to Downtown Mesa as I've mentioned in a previous blog and this is the beginning!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bye bye Tribune employees in Downtown

Mark Pierce of Lee and Associates just tweeted that he got the assignment to sell the Tribune Building in Downtown Mesa. It is 107,000 SF. Ok everyone, think outside the box here, and let's get a company in here to bring more jobs to Downtown. Light rail access will be a bonus in the deal.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Get out and vote for the next cheerleader

I mean City Councilman for Downtown Mesa. Tuesday is the day that our next leader will be determined. It is what I think is the most important election in Downtown's history. The four year term that either Vic or Chris will hold will bring changes like we have not seen before. Light Rail will be constructed. There is the possibly of a Cubs Spring Training Stadium and Wrigleyville West being built Downtown. Feasibility studies for a university, college or some higher education entity and a medical campus have been completed and are ready to go to City Council.

District four voter turn out in Mesa is typically weak at best. With the significant changes happening to Downtown it is vital that we get out and vote for the best Cheerleader on Tuesday. Pass the word along to any registered voter in District four it will make a difference in how the changes upon us will play out.

Your choices:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy 100th Birthday Arizona (2012) Recalling the past...Mesa Style

Early Mesa pictured about 1883 shows the A. F. Macdonald home and gardens at lower left and at right the “relief society hall” (bishops storehouse? with flat roof), a hotel and store (on corner) and new city hall and jail (pitched roof). Macdonald, Mormon Stake President and first mayor, was sent to Mesa from Utah to iron out difficulties. He left in January 1885 to establish a colony in Mexico.

Bringing the abundant supply of Salt River irrigation water to the top of the mesa transformed the desert into an oasis, providing a source of agricultural wealth. Within a few years, Salt River Valley farms could feed all of Arizona and export a surplus to the rest of the nation. This unidentified canal is pictured about 1908.

Commercial life centered around the intersection of Main and Macdonald, seen here about 1908, looking west. On the SW corner (at left) is the Mesa City Bank, which later became Mesa Drug Company. The next building west is LeSueur, Gibbons & Co. mercantile, established in 1905. It later became LeSueur-Botkin Co. and finally sold to Bayless mercantile of Phoenix in 1926. The building was then replaced by the Nile Theater.

To provide narrow store fronts with the most customer parking automobiles parked head-in at both curbs and in the center of Main Street when this postcard was issued about 1927 (the autos at left are in the middle of the street). The view is looking east toward the intersection with Macdonald. The green sign marks Everybody’s Drugs on the corner with the lamppost. At right is the Nile Theater. Built in 1928, it closed as a theater in 1951. Recently it has been a church and is now called Mesa Underground, a venue for rock music.

This is the intersection of Main & Macdonald about 1939, looking northwest toward Everybody’s Drugs in a rebuilt remnant of Chandler Court (1908). Dr. A. J. Chandler designed and had constructed a horseshoe-shaped, single-story office complex with the first big evaporative cooling system in the Valley. The remaining half seen here was restored in 1984, though nothing like the original building. Established in 1906, Everybody’s Drugs closed in the late 1990s. Parking in the middle of the street was eliminated about 1935. Carrying highways 60, 70, 80, 89 and 93 until the 1970s, Main Street funneled all transcontinental highway traffic from the east into the Valley, giving Mesa the nickname “The Gateway City.”

The same block on Main pictured above is seen here about 1953. Stapley’s Hardware (at right) opened in 1895, profited by providing supplies for Roosevelt Dam construction and eventually added 11 locations across the Valley. Owner, O. S. Stapley was a member of the Arizona constitutional convention in 1910 and then served as state senator. Great grandson Don is a county supervisor.

Looking south on Macdonald in the first block below Main about 1956, the Pioneer Hotel began in 1894 as the Alhambra, finest in Mesa. It burned in 1921, was reconstructed the following year and received a large addition in 1951. It survives as a public hotel operated by Transitional Living Communities. Pat’s Bicycle Shop was next door from 1947 to 1957, when it moved to 929 East Main. The still family owned business moved to Gilbert Gateway Towne Center near the airport at the end of 2009.

Looking northwest above downtown Mesa about 1969, the 5-story Valley National Bank (1959), on the NE corner of Main and McDonald, is the tallest building. In the next block north on McDonald is City Hall (now the Arizona Museum of Natural History), with Queen of Peace Catholic Church (red roof) across the street to the north. At lower right, on Main, the El Portal Hotel (1928) was demolished in 1972 and Mesa City Plaza occupies the site. Valley Bank sold to Bank One in 1993, which was then acquired by Chase. A $6 million renovation completed in 2005 turned the bank building into One Macdonald Center offices, with a US Bank on the ground floor. This part of Mesa used to be the commercial center of the original square-mile city limit bounded by University and Broadway, Country Club and Mesa Drive.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Comparing Salt Lake City and Mesa?

Took this post from a livability blog that talks about similarities of our Downtown and Salt Lake. Interesting and a little off with some of the facts but hey at least people are talking about us- which IMHO is a step in the right direction.

"The City of Mesa has undertaken an ambitious plan to revitalize its downtown along Main Street, which is anchored by the Mesa Arizona Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon church) on its eastern end and by the Mesa Performing Art Center on its western end. The City’s plans include the adoption of the Central Main Street Plan and a form based code which will foment a comprehensive approach to planning, designing and regulating mixed use transit oriented development in downtown Mesa for decades to come.

Drawing similarities to the Mesa’s historic roots and those of Salt Lake City is not difficult. Moreover, current bold efforts by Mesa’s leaders to seek federal funding to extend light rail along Main Street through downtown Mesa and to adopt such cutting-edge planning and development tools begs the questions…if Salt Lake City can do it, why not in Mesa? Granted there are distinctions to be made…but the mere fact that Salt Lake City, with its conservative roots was able to look so progressively into the future and that the residents saw the wisdom of investing in their downtown speaks volumes about the opportunities for Mesa.

When the light rail reaches Mesa Drive on its eastern terminus, it will be a short block from the Mesa Mormon Temple and will likewise serve the powerhouse campuses of Arizona State University in Tempe and downtown Phoenix, Mesa Community College students, and connect Mesa to thousands of square feet of retail, residential and other mixed use sports and entertainment sites along the Tempe and Phoenix corridor. The light rail has the ability to serve as a tremendous catalyst for redevelopment and growth in downtown Mesa.

Noone expects the Mormon church to invest so heavily in Mesa’s downtown but what if Mesa was Salt Lake City…to the many East Valley residents of Mesa who trace there roots back to their Mormon pioneers ancestors…“this is the place.” "

Link to the full blog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Encredicon.... yes I said Encredicon

Evermore Nevermore is going to rock the local geek art scene in early September with their very own “Encredicon!”

(That’s Evermore Nevermore Comic Review of Enlightened Drawing and Inscribing Convention, just so you know.)

Sept 10, 6pm-10pm
Sept 11, 12pm-6pm
Part of Downtown Mesa’s “Art Attack On Main.”
Taking place at Evermore Nevermore.
“A mini comic convention with the spotlight on local Valley comic book artists and writers.”
Local Independent comic book artists and Sci-fi fashion show!
Free screening of Sacrifice, a monster movie put together by some locals.
If you are a local artist and want to participate, they have some info click on the link below about how to get involved.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cubs Spring Training

There has been some interesting articles regarding the location of the potential new Cubs stadium. I personally hope that it comes to downtown and that like in Chicago - Wrigleyville is a few miles from Riverview Park. The pictures are of an amusement park called Riverview, a former Chicago amusement.