Seniors to get new housing in downtown Mesa

First private project in decades still splits council

By Gary Nelson

The Arizona Republic

A rendering of a proposed apartment building for low-income seniors in downtown Mesa. / Courtesy of Mesa

Encore on Farmer has one foot forward, into the sustainable, transit-friendly ethos of a new century — and one foot pretty far back, into the first half of the last century, when most of its residents were born.

The five-story, 56-unit project, which opened in January just west of Tempe’s downtown core, is a sneak peek at the next big step in the evolution of downtown Mesa.

Encore is everything Mesa has been saying it wants in its new buildings:

— Sustainable, with solar panels supplying much of the electricity and rainwater harvesting to augment irrigation.

— Pedestrian-friendly, with a landscaped walkway offering a place for exercise and access to other parts of downtown Tempe.

— Transit-oriented, just a short jaunt away from light rail and bus lines.

The same people who built Encore aim to break ground in September for a larger, 81-unit senior-living complex on First Avenue just southwest of the Mesa Arts Center.


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August 2012