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The rise of Mesa's Asian district

Post Date:09/24/2019 3:48 PM
  • Lead An online survey is getting residents' input to help the City brand the Asian District along Dobson Road in west Mesa. The survey can be accessed at www.selectmesa.com/asiandistrict

Working alongside Mesa’s Asian community, the City of Mesa Office of Economic Development recently launched an initiative to further highlight and promote the large concentration of Asian-owned businesses that has developed during the past decade in West Mesa.

In June, the City hosted two community stakeholder events to announce the project and invite participation. The next step involves conducting an online survey to gather additional input from the community to define a brand for the area. The survey will be open until Oct. 18, 2019, and can be accessed at www.selectmesa.com/asiandistrict. All are invited to complete the survey.

“Mesa has a strong, active Asian community and I am excited to see the Asian district come to life in West Mesa,” Mayor John Giles said. “We are always interested in hearing the opinions of our residents and this survey will help us understand the direction we should take in branding the corridor.”

Participants completing the survey may enter a drawing to receive gift certificates from businesses in the Asian district, including Mekong Supermarket, Miss Dessert, Roll Avenue Ice Cream Rolls, Izzy’s Bakery & Café, and more.

Mekong Plaza, located at the southwest corner of Dobson Road and Main Street, opened in 2008 with fewer than 10 Asian-owned businesses. Today, the 100,000-square-foot Mekong Plaza is at full occupancy with 28 tenants and has spurred development in the rest of the Asian business district along Dobson Road, which includes more than 70 Asian-owned businesses.

“I am extremely proud that District 3 is home to so many wonderful Asian-owned businesses,” District 3 Councilmember Francisco Heredia said. “The City of Mesa strives to have an array of offerings and the Asian district plays a major role in our already diverse portfolio.” 

H Mart, an upscale Asian-American supermarket chain, is currently renovating the 63,000-square-foot former Albertsons at the southeast corner of Main Street and Dobson Road, across the street from Mekong Plaza. The new store, slated to open in 2020, will be H Mart's first location in Arizona and will stock more than 40,000 items featuring a wide variety of Asian, Hispanic, American foods and related products.

Additional clusters of Asian-owned businesses exist at Southern Avenue and Dobson Road and South Longmore between Mesa Community College and Fiesta Mall.

“The Asian district in Mesa is a great place to enjoy highly diverse Asian culture, food, shopping, and services,” Albert Lin, former president of the Arizona Asian American Association, said.

The Asian community has experienced this growth organically over the past decade. To successfully brand the area, collaboration is imperative. In addition to working alongside the Asian community, the City has contracted with two marketing firms, Moonshot11 and WHYFOR, to assist with the research and branding process.

“Moonshot 11 is honored and excited to partner with Mesa’s Office of Economic Development and WHYFOR to help bring to life a unifying brand for the Asian district in Mesa,” Kiem Ho, Chief Brand Officer of Moonshot11, said. “Our strong collaboration with the broader Asian community demonstrates a shared commitment towards building a cultural destination that will attract visitors from across the valley, state and country.”

For questions related to the Asian district project, contact David Packard at (480) 644-3961 or david.packard@mesaaz.gov.  

 

Office of Economic Development
Contact: Kim Lofgreen
Tel. 480-644-3962
kim.lofgreen@mesaaz.gov



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