Chicanos Por La Causa plans affordable housing on former Mesa motel site

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Chicanos Por La Causa.)

By Scott Shumaker | The Mesa Tribune

A Main Street motel that served weary travelers to Mesa for almost 90 years was torn down in October after owner Chicanos Por La Causa got a demolition permit from the city.

The property did not have a local historic designation that would have paused the Kiva Lodge’s demolition, so the city had no discretion once the nonprofit had submitted all the necessary documents.

But the demolition took some preservationists by surprise.

“We never heard anything until the demolition was approved,” Historic Preservation Board Chairman Jim Babos said. “Obviously, it’s a shame it was torn down.”

The historic neon sign on site was saved and has been donated to the Mesa Preservation Foundation for safe keeping.

Chicanos Por La Causa promotes social equity and opportunity for underprivileged populations of all ethnicities. With encouragement from the city, the group is planning multiple developments on Main Street, including a mixed-use project at the former Bailey’s Brakes site.

On the former Kiva Lodge site and several adjacent parcels, the group has preliminary plans for a 90-unit affordable housing complex with community services.

But the organization has not received the zoning required for the development and will need to eventually get council approval.

The rezoning case could have provided a public forum to discuss significance — or non-significance — of the Kiva Lodge buildings, but its demolition renders the question moot.


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November 2023