Mesa’s Missed Opportunity to Bring Affordable Housing to Its Downtown

Mesa and Culdesac are collaborating to transform a 25-acre empty lot owned by the city, known as Site 17, into a car-free community with 1,000 housing units and 50,000 square feet of retail space. In the 1990s, a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood was demolished to make way for an entertainment district that never materialized, and the lot remained empty for two decades. Mesa residents had hoped the city council would prioritize affordable housing in the redevelopment plans. However, the council’s decision to proceed with negotiations without requiring affordable housing inclusion has disappointed many, raising concerns about prioritizing commercial interests over community needs.



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