When construction began on Mesa’s $99 million arts complex in 2002, a seed of belief was planted deep in the heart of the city’s historical downtown — a belief that the quiet district could eventually grow into something greater.
Now 10 years after the Mesa Arts Center opened at the corner of Main and Center streets, that idea is firmly rooted among the many downtown residents, business owners and activists who have fallen in love with the area.
Downtown Mesa now has more restaurants that stay open later, along with an eclectic mix of shops that appeal to a younger crowd. The performing-arts theater draws celebrities like actor William Shatner. Groups of Millennials stroll down Main Street to take “selfies” with the public art sculptures that have become a staple.