Wednesday, November 25, 2020 12:59 am

Mesa rekindles hopes to revive long-dormant downtown site

Mesa Mayor John Giles

By Jim Walsh | East Valley Tribune

The so-called Site 17 redevelopment area near downtown Mesa started with prospects for a gleaming new resort with a water slide, but it quickly slid into oblivion as a symbol of how eminent domain can backfire.

Now, 30 years later, Mayor John Giles said Site 17 is on the brink of paying off handsomely with a high-quality residential development that will promote a healthier downtown.

“I feel lucky that we have it, and it’s something we will be very proud of,’’ Giles said. “It’s gone from being a red-headed stepchild to being a beauty queen.’’

Site 17 is a 30-acre piece of land located just north of Main Street near the Phoenix Marriott Mesa, which the city acquired in 1992 through eminent domain, leveling 63 homes at a taxpayer cost of $6 million.

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