Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lighting Octopus reports on our Downtown

Some people like steampunk. Some people really like steampunk.

And some folks like it so much they reserve a big ol’ chunk of space in Downtown Mesa’s 2nd Friday and fill it up with the stuff.

These people are awesome.

Just like last time, Evermore Nevermore (and their neighbors) are going all out again in October’s 2nd Friday. If you’re a fan of the genre at all, you can help make this event shine. You can participate officially, or if you have any sweet gear or outfits to show off to fellow fans, just show up and represent.

It’s all going down Friday, October 8th from 6pm to 10pm.
On the south side of Main Street, between Robson & MacDonald.
(Just find Evermore Nevermore.)
Steampunk artisans, vendors, costumes… contraptions? (I hope so!)
Let them know if you want to be a part of it.
Otherwise, just show up and enjoy!

BTW- Lighting Octopus is another friendly blogger

Saturday, September 11, 2010


No I have not turned all linux on you! This is the day of the next Motorcycles On Main AND Randy and Maria's wedding on MacDonald and Main - center stage. Our M.O.M. newlyweds are probably the oposite side of the spectrum when it comes to computer geeks who are looking forward to this rare date. Come join the fun 7:pm is the ceremony.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Az Republic Editorial Board and Downtown Mesa feasibility study

Mesa has learned a valuable economic lesson.

The city used federal grant money to commission two studies on downtown: one on the viability of health-care-related industry, the other on higher education. City Council members had hoped the studies would recommend specific developments for Site 17, the notoriously empty swath of land near Mesa and University drives.

But that's not what happened.

Consultants had a difficult time studying the viability of either industry on the site because most of Mesa's assets in those fields exist outside downtown.

Both studies concluded there were significant health-care and higher-education opportunities to be had in Mesa. That's good news, considering those industries are the "H" and "E" of the city's "HEAT" economic strategy.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith unveiled the strategy just after taking office in hopes of attracting more high-wage jobs by strengthening the city's existing health-care, education, aerospace and tourism industries. It's good to know the city is on the right track.

But neither study broke much new ground. The conclusions mirrored what Smith and others within the city have been saying for more than a year.

Neither included detailed recommendations for Site 17, a point that visibly disgusted several council members last week when the studies were presented during a study session.

But that's where the lesson comes in.

Smith recognized after the meeting that Mesa had fallen into a common trap, hoping the studies would offer grand ideas to fill a vacant piece of land. It was focusing on a real-estate opportunity, rather than on the most effective strategies to woo high-wage jobs Mesa's way.

Site 17 needs to be filled. But engineering the market to build something there is not the way to do it.

Smith says Mesa should focus its energy on selling the city to health-care companies and colleges and letting them choose the best site for their needs.

He's right.

Though much work remains to finalize that strategy, Mesa now has a much sounder foundation on which to build it - one filled with third-party data about Mesa's assets, not just city intuition and a desire to fill empty real estate.

An important lesson, indeed.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/2010/09/09/20100909mr-edit0910.html#ixzz0z5tVakYu

Friday, September 3, 2010

Downtown feasibility studies complete

The Az Republic revealed some detail regarding the idea of bringing more of the HEAT initiative to Downtown Mesa. HEAT is the acronym for the area of emphasis for business attraction in all of Mesa. (Healthcare, Education, Aerospace and Tourism).

A "healthplex" was suggested in the study; it would include doctors' offices, diagnostic centers and healthy restaurants and spas. Seems logical (although a big ole bummer) since our health-care assets- Cardon Children's Medical Center, A.T. Still University and Banner Health's medical simulation center are close by.

The Higher Education study confirmed that Arizona is under-served by colleges, especially private schools. A suggestion was made to have a delegation head out to Notre Dame to see what it would take to get them thinking about a western campus in Downtown Mesa. Councilman Kavanaugh said such efforts go back more than a decade when in 1997 Mesa went to Lewis University with the same concept.

Councilman Finter hit the nail on the head about both of the studies- "Everything I'm reading so far, I knew".

So the ideas were confirmed and maybe the dream whittled down a bit. But we still don't have tens of millions of dollars in the bank to plant the seeds like the Mayor said. What about the 84 million potentially on the table for Wrigleyville west. Would concentrating on the "T" in HEAT for Downtown be a bad idea?