ASU @ Mesa City Center

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  • 118, 000 sq ft new build
  • 1,500 sq ft commercial space
  • 5 stories
  • Technologies: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Design
  • 25 annual Mesa scholarships
  • Project budget $63.5m
  • ROI estimated at >$7m annually
  • Open Fall 2021



ASU @ Mesa City Center and The Plaza @ Mesa City Center reached a milestone as the Mesa City Council approved the selection of DPR Construction as the Construction Manager at Risk for both projects on January 28.

This follows the selection and approval of Holly Street Studio and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson as the design team of architects and planners.

ASU @ Mesa City Center is a five-story, approximately 118,000 square-foot academic building, located at the northwest corner of Pepper Street and Centennial Way, that will house programs offered by the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts related to digital and sensory technology, experiential design, gaming, media arts, film production and entrepreneurial development and support. These programs will utilize augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D modeling and visualization to develop technology with the potential to impact industries as diverse as health care, aerospace, manufacturing and entertainment.

The new building is expected to be open to more than 750 students and faculty for the Fall 2021 semester. The ground floor will contain a large exhibition gallery, screening theaters and a social café. The upper floors will include a mix of production studios, fabrication labs, flexible classrooms and innovative spaces for collaborations with community and industry. Unique to this building will be a 3,000 square foot enhanced immersion studio where users can create augmented realities and map virtual spaces onto physical environments.

In addition to the primary academic programs, a number of co-curricular programs are planned to amplify the student experience and connect the facility’s programs to the larger innovation district. So far, those programs include Entrepreneurship + Innovation and FilmSpark.

The Plaza @ Mesa City Center is a two to three acre gathering place, located just south of the ASU building, with a large open community space, water features and seasonal ice rink.

Examples of projects from this design and construction team include:

DPR Construction
Pixar Animation Studio
ASU Polytechnic Campus
ASU SkySong Innovation Center 


Holly Street Studio
Heard Museum
ASU Student Center at the Post Office
Parsons Center for Health and Wellness

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Santa Cruz Digital Arts Research Center
Disney's Creative Campus
Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University

The next step is pre-construction which consists of design, cost estimates, schedule and phasing. The last step of pre-construction is determining a Guaranteed Maximum Price, which will be brought to council for review and approval later this year. 


Project History

The project budget is $63.5 million and will be funded by City revenues. ASU will contribute $10 million towards the interior build-out and be responsible for all ongoing operations and maintenance costs, currently estimated at $1.3 million.

Along with the ASU building, the City is designing Mesa City Center as part of a burgeoning downtown innovation district. The first phase is made up of a 2-3 acre gathering space called The Plaza @ Mesa City Center and an adaptive reuse of Mesa’s first library at the southwest corner of First Street and Centennial Way into The Studios @ Mesa City Center. The Studios will allow the collision of ideas between industry leaders, entrepreneurs, students and the public.

The design phase for these projects will begin in early August

Presentation to Mesa City Council May 10 Study Session: ASU Impact Data

Presentation to Mesa City Council February 15: Intergovernmental Agreement with Arizona State University