Can city boondoggle be a downtown Mesa boon?

(City of Mesa)

By Scott Shumaker | East Valley Tribune

Mesa City Council hopes this is the year to finally turn a downtown boondoggle into a boon for downtown.

Council recently heard the latest development plan for 27 acres of city-owned land just north of Main Street near Phoenix Marriott Mesa that Mesa acquired through eminent domain, leveling 63 homes at a taxpayer cost of $6 million.

If Mesa succeeds in bringing the long-dreamed redevelopment into reality with the city’s latest partner on the project, Miravista Holdings, it would make the third decade the charm for a prime piece of real estate that has long sat vacant.

The city started purchasing property at the southwest corner Mesa and University Drives in 1996 and eventually acquired homes through eminent domain in order to make way for a 12-story water-park resort proposed by a Canadian developer.

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