By Gary Nelson | The Arizona Republic
The vast scar of empty real estate on the northeast corner of Mesa’s downtown won’t be going away anytime soon.
Mayor Scott Smith said last week that the tract, known as Site 17, probably will stay vacant until Mesa’s downtown-development efforts have borne more fruit.
That Site 17, at Mesa and University drives, looks like a bulldozed footprint is not for lack of effort on the city’s part.
There were a few houses there until about 15 years ago, when Mesa cleared the land for a Canadian developer who promised to build a 12-story hotel, water park and other amenities. Mesa spent $7.1 million to assemble the land.
After the resort proposal died for lack of money, other ideas came and went. Mesa was on the verge of selling the land to a development group five years ago, but the recession obliterated their plans for a mixed-use project.
Smith told reporters during a news briefing last week that Mesa is in no hurry to fill the 25 acres.