Mesa’s Innovation District

Downtown Mesa could be transforming into Arizona’s next center of innovation. A group of city leaders is pushing to invest in infrastructure that will attract a technology-based economy to the downtown area,

Mesa's innovation district

Main Street, Downtown Mesa. (Photo: Isaac Hale/The Republic)

Lined with charming historic buildings, Mesa’s once sleepy Main Street has already seen millions invested in its metamorphosis, including the $99 million Mesa Arts Center in 2005, and in 2015 approximately $200 million went into extending light rail to downtown Mesa.

Now, city leaders are looking for Mesa to become an “innovation district,” an area with leading-edge institutions and companies and that connect with startups and business incubators to grow new ideas and products.

The potential payoff for creating an innovation district could be considerable: job growth will lead to increased demand for housing to meet the needs of new workers moving to the city. And with it will come economic growth and more municipal revenue.

Currently in the works is the Grid,  a $60 million mixed-use project that includes multifamily residential housing, retail, and offices to the East Valley’s most populous city.

A branch of Phoenix-based co-working space Co-Hoots is also planning to open a facility in Mesa, a plan just announced in the past week. Plans for artist lofts and other projects are also in the pipeline.

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Mesa’s Innovation District