Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Riverview and Redeveloping West Mesa

A West Mesa Sports Authority is moving from their old power center at Southern and Baseline and into new digs at the Mesa Riverview project.

Overall, I still remain a fan of what Riverview is trying to do. However, I do have to say that its disappointing that Riverview is taking some of the stores that were in the area and moving them to the new shopping center. I was looking through their list of shops, and I may be wrong, but I believe that the Wal-Mart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Skipro, and Petco were all moved to Riverview from a previous location. Sports Authority appears to be following this same fate. That is a lot of empty boxes in the area to fill. Don't get me wrong, I am happy they stayed in Mesa, but that is a lot of redevelopment needed - especially in the Fiesta District.

Mesa has been creative in this department. The Mekong Plaza appears to be doing well, appealing to a niche clientele and attracting new business into town. With the old Sports Authority filled by a Supermarket that caters to a hispanic demographic, perhaps they can do the same. The paper claims that it would be a compliment the other developments, namely the Campeones boxing-themed restaurant that is coming to the area. Perhaps this is the start of another concentration of businesses, giving Mesa a more interesting and international flare.

Look at us, we're cultural! Perhaps, we won't be the most boring city in the world next year!

This is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. I understand why corporate retailers want to move to better locations, we should have seen it coming a few years ago when every car dealer migrated to be right next to a freeway. The retailers most certainly were to come next. Now, the property owners, Mesa, and others need to figure out how to best fill these boxes, or come up with other creative uses for the next stage in viability.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

This is very typical for retailers to move. That is why big box is a very bad idea. They tend to only be in an area for two decades then they leave. Tempe marketplace did the same with many stores. I think there are some positives and negatives about the development. Del Rito did not go outside the box for what he got in the vote. He did not be innovative in his design and to keep this place sustaining over time. The really needed to find a way to blend it in to the neighborhood and canal as an asset. Figure out a way to make the big box stores mix in with the smaller ones and make it a true Mixed use development. The theater district was poorly designed and is struggling because of it. This area could have been that much better then what tempe market place is, but it was poor design and I am happy that the council told Del Rito to make his design of his new center out in the gateway center more urban.

The emptiness in fiesta is a double edge sword. With so much blank space available, the idea of becoming a semi urban center can be meet with redeveloping the area. Westcor in my opinion is doing an absolute disservice to the area and the city/residents. What they are doing is totally pathetic compared to what they are building and redeveloping elsewhere. We get a building that is even uglier then the old Macy’s, and some pads!!! Yeah, can we say more suburban in an area that wants to turn to urban and walkable? Poor job by Westcor and the lack of reinvesting into the Fiesta District. I think there is are some great opportunities of redevelopment of these oversized parking lots and big box stores. It is time for the city to update their policy to stop this stuff from happening. A majority of places are not going to be MeKong plaza.