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Mesa’s ‘point of pride’ is growing, thanks to expansion in Asian district

Mekong Plaza broke ground Wednesday on vacant land south of the existing complex at Main Street and Dobson Road. Project manager Drew Burtoni said a new 35,000-square-foot center should open next fall or winter.

“So far, we’re about 60% occupied, pre-signed leases, all restaurants so far. We’re looking to add some more service businesses: nail salon, hair, maybe like a school, karate dojo, those kinds of things,” he said.

Mekong Plaza is full with 30 tenants. The expansion will welcome a dozen more. Mayor John Giles says visitors often create personal connections.

“It’s a lot of fun to come out to get to know the owners and their families that are running these establishments and to contribute to their success,” he said.

Mekong Plaza is the centerpiece of a two-mile corridor Mesa branded as its Asian District in 2019. The city says it has more than 70 Asian-themed restaurants, grocery stores and other service and retail businesses.

“This is greatly valued by the Asian community for sure, but it’s also a real point of pride for the broader community as well,” Giles said. “We quite often have night markets and Asian festivals out here packed with people. And so this is taking something that we’re very proud of and making it even better.”

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.