Mesa exploring ways to turn area from blight to success
By Gary Nelson | East Valley Tribune
It’s almost a ghost mall now.
Once a powerful draw for shoppers and diners from the entire East Valley, Fiesta Mall now features empty storefront after empty storefront, with a handful of remaining businesses desperately hanging on.
The Dillard’s store is now just a last-stop merchandise clearance shop. Macy’s is dark, as is Dick’s Sporting Goods. Best Buy closed in October. Parking lots are vast, empty fields of pavement.
The shopping center at Alma School Road and U.S. 60 in Mesa—not yet 40 years old—is an example of what happens when yesterday’s hot spot is overtaken by today’s hot spot. Larger, fancier malls in the region such as Arizona Mills in Tempe and Chandler Fashion Center sucked away customers, and changing demographics eroded some of the neighborhood’s financial bedrock.