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Trees, growth and high-speed internet among Mesa mayor’s State of the City address

Mesa’s mayor thinks the city’s $63 million investment to bring Arizona State University downtown is paying off.

During his State of the City address Tuesday, Mayor John Giles called the school’s Media and Immersive Experience Center, known as MIX, a catalyst for the downtown arts and innovation district. Next to the MIX center is a two-acre plaza for community events. 

Giles said the area keeps attracting restaurants and housing, “Downtown Mesa has 1,000 units on track to be completed this year and another 1,800 in planning. The overall private investment in our downtown since 2020 is over $600 million.”

He said construction should begin this year on a new city hall downtown and a former post office will be renovated and used for events and meetings. 

In 2022, Giles said Mesa issued nearly 7,000 building permits, including more than 11 million square feet of new commercial and manufacturing space. Also last year, the city partnered with five companies to bring the fiber-optic internet to every home and business. 

“High-speed internet is not a luxury,” Giles said. “It’s an essential utility.”

During his speech, Giles announced the launch of a project called “Trees are Cool”, with the goal of planting one million trees by 2050.

“In the next 30 years, we plan to move Mesa from a 6% tree canopy coverage to the Nature Conservancy’s recommended 15%,” he said.

Trees not only provide shade, but can help lower temperatures and filter greenhouse gas emissions. 

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