Downtown Vision Ad-Hoc Committee

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Meetings as needed

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Downtown Mesa Key Priorities



Purpose and Duties

Downtown is a fundamental component to Mesa’s overall economic vitality. As such, the City continues to invest in key infrastructure improvements to encourage new opportunities. One such recent investment is light rail. Opening as early as the fall 2015, the light rail will bring direct regional exposure and access to and from Downtown Mesa. Light rail also attracts transit-oriented development, which in turn mobilizes new market opportunities.

As such, Mesa’s Mayor and City Council is convening a committee of innovative thinkers to develop a shared vision to help chart the future growth of Downtown Mesa and to ensure that growth is in alignment with stakeholder and community interests. The Downtown Vision Committee will be asked to:

  • Recommend a shared vision and broad goals to the Mesa Mayor and City Council that set a clear intention and direction for the long-term evolution of Downtown Mesa.
  • Collaborate with key downtown partners and agencies that will contribute to the implementation of the shared downtown vision.
  • Consider Downtown Mesa’s future opportunities, untapped urban growth sectors, barriers to success, and its existing and future market potential.
  • Review existing plans and strategies and how to build on, reaffirm and prioritize those outcomes.

The Vision Committee’s work is expected to begin this fall 2014 and be concluded within approximately six months.

Appointed Members

Jo Wilson (Chair) - Ms. Wilson serves as Senior Administrator and Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Benedictine University at Mesa. She’s been previously honored as Mesa Community College Woman of Distinction, Mesa Woman of the Year and serves on her wide array of community involvement efforts, including service on Mesa boards and commissions, the Mesa Chamber of Commerce Board, the Mesa Arts Center Foundation Board, Mesa Rotary (currently President-Elect), as well as several other community agencies and committees.

Steve Chucri - A Mesa native, Mr. Chucri currently serves as President and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association and as District 2 Maricopa County Supervisor where he focuses on policies focused on innovation, sustainability and in growing the business ‘best of the best’ cache in the County.

Debby Elliott - A Mesa native, Ms. Elliott and her husband Mike Elliott have been long-time advocates of arts and culture in Mesa, serving on the Mesa Arts Center Board, and are the namesake fundraising sponsors of the Nesbitt-Elliot Playhouse at the Mesa Arts Center. Most recently, Ms. Elliott serves on the MARC Center Community Resource Board, which serves those with cognitive, emotional and physical disabilities.

Charles Huellmantel - Mr. Huellmantel is a local attorney and partner of Mesa Housing Associates, the team that built “Encore on First Avenue,” providing important housing for seniors and allowing them to become part of Mesa’s burgeoning downtown.

Marco Meraz - Mr. Meraz is a Mesa native. In 2012, he and his family opened a Latin-inspired cuisine restaurant in downtown Mesa, called Republica Empanada. Mr. Meraz serves on the Mesa Urban Garden Advisory Board, the R.A.I.L. (Retail, Arts, Innovation and Livability) alliance, and also works with local merchants and agencies to improve and grow Downtown Mesa.

Rich Marchant - Mr. Marchant is the Executive Vice-President of Operations for Crescent Crown Distributing LLC, located in downtown Mesa. He has lived In Mesa since 1974. He’s been honored with the Arizona Public Service Company’s Wayne Farnsworth Award for service to the community, serves as an Executive Board member of The Greater Phoenix Economic Council and on the Mesa Chamber of Commerce Business Expansion Council.

Lorenzo Perez - Co-owner of the local Venue Projects, a design-centered, redevelopment, investment and construction real estate practice in the Valley, Mr. Perez works to transform urban and historical places and finding ways through design and architecture to promote community, serve and celebrate nature. He is Realtor and a member of the Urban Land Institute and the Arizona Multihousing Association.