A proposed Arizona State University development could bring programs in film, media, gaming, virtual reality and more to downtown Mesa. Mesa officials are now considering how ASU might fit into the city’s once-sleepy downtown.

(Photo: Tom Tingle/The Republic) A proposed Arizona State University development could bring programs in film, media, gaming, virtual reality and more to downtown Mesa.  Mesa City Council will consider entering into an intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Board of Regents on Feb. 26, according to city documents.

While the project is in the early stages of discussion, officials outlined a proposal showing that the first phase of the project could include a five-story building on the northwest corner of Pepper Place and Centennial Way. That city-owned land is currently a parking lot, next door to Mesa’s City Council chambers.  The project’s cost, its burden on public-safety resources and what potential tax breaks ASU would receive, are unclear. The Arizona Republic has requested the intergovernmental agreement, which would detail development plans and pave the way for budgeting discussions.

The university development is the linchpin in Mesa Mayor John Giles’ plan to transform downtown.   “Absent an anchor like ASU, we will continue to tread water in downtown and won’t make any meaningful progress,” Giles told The Arizona Republic.  A map presented to Mesa’s City Council showing where proposed ASU development would go in the city’s development. (Photo: City of Mesa) This isn’t the first time Mesa has considered bringing ASU downtown. In 2016, voters turned down a sales tax hike that would have created a satellite campus.

At the time, the ASU development was projected to cost $102 million. At Mesa’s Feb. Read more from azcentral.com…

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