Mesa Is On A Roll With New Development

By Mark Brodie, Steve Goldstein
Published: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 3:49pm
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(Photo courtesy of KJZZ file footage)
A plaque presented at the groundbreaking ceremony in Mesa at the Chicago Cubs Spring Training Complex and Riverview Park.

Mesa has been on a pretty good roll recently. Last week, it landed an Apple facility. The city has seen a lot of development along its existing and proposed light rail lines, has added several colleges and universities to its downtown and is the home of Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport.

So, how is Mesa doing it? Bill Jabjiniak, the city’s cconomic development director, said everything starts with political leadership.

He did not touch on the fact that Mesa has spent a lot of money on a new spring training facility at Riverview Park, which will house the Cubs. The Oakland A’s will move into HoHoKam Park.

We can assume city leaders are hopeful their winning percentage on projects like those will be better than the Cubs’ has been recently. Jabjiniak kind of referenced this, but a lot of the development in Mesa has happened under the watch of Mayor Scott Smith.

He said Mesa’s city council has also bought into the vision and should be able to keep things going after Smith leaves city hall, either because of term limits or to move into a different office, and someone who knows a little something about leading cities said it can be a challenge for them to overcome perceptions. Former Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza said that is especially true for Mesa.

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