Friday, December 19, 2008

Looking for creative re-use

Here is an interesting article about Mesa and their efforts to reuse old big box buildings and turn them into something else. This is not a problem exclusive to Mesa, in fact, its happening all over the valley with the closing of Mervyns, Circuit City, and Linens N Things, which are basically in every community.

The good news is, Mesa actually has a bit of a track record of finding creative things to do with big boxes and reinvigorating the area surrounding them. They mention Mekong Plaza and an incoming Mexican grocery, but there are other examples. Amazing Jakes is another example of an innovative use of an old big box. The converted outlet stores near Superstition Springs is another example of a reuse that taught lessons of what not to do.

As other communities and their shopping centers catch up in age, we are going to see more creative uses for these power centers and shopping plazas that have popped up over the years. Hopefully Mesa can be ahead of the curve and serve as an example of how other communities can effectively re-use buildings. In my mind, that would be an okay reputation to have.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

Thing is, why as a city do we continue to do things the old way and expect a different outcome? We know for a fact that big box on avg has a life of 20 yrs and then goes dead. This is poor land use and decision making by the developers and city in general.

I believe we need to create some kind of incentive to reuse these properties for a higher of intensity of uses and the city should find a way to encourage new development in these areas. A program that cuts taxes, gives them a speedy process etc.

Mesa Riverview might face similar outcomes if the surrounding properties are not built for the long term to support Riverview. Could be 85 mil down the drain.