East Mesa, Ariz., Likely to Get Mall Mega-Complex

Jun. 8--Construction juggernaut DeBartolo Development has set its sights on east Mesa, proposing a sprawling complex containing a shopping center, apartments and offices near Signal Butte Road and U.S. 60.

DeBartolo is only in the planning stage of Mountain Vistas Marketplace and Mountain Vistas Apartments, working with Mesa to have the 114-acre parcel of land rezoned. It could take up to nine months before construction starts, which developers estimate would be completed in spring 2008.

Russell Posorske, DeBartolo's senior development officer, said the Mountain Vistas project would create a place where people can live, work and shop -- without using a car.

"How great would it be to walk to work, walk back and then catch a movie," he said.

Posorske described a development that would include 647,000 square feet of shops, 384 apartments and 55,000 square feet of office space. He estimated that about 10,000 people would work at the stores and offices at Mountain Vistas Marketplace.

City Councilman Scott Somers, who represents the surrounding area, said he looked forward to having the development in his district.

"Residents are pretty excited," he said. "It will provide job opportunities, and more convenient shopping and entertainment for folks in the East Valley."

However, the Mesa Planning Division has some concerns, including a nonpedestrian-friendly environment, construction affecting the surrounding community and the negative effect of nearby U.S. 60 on shoppers and residents.

Posorske said he and other developers agreed with Mesa Planning that Mountain Vistas should be more accommodating to pedestrians.

He said improvements are under way to improve the preliminary designs.

He added that Mountain Vistas would be constructed to face away from U.S. 60 and that he planned to go out personally in the surrounding community to address concerns.

[Tribune, The (Mesa, AZ) (KRT) -- 06/09/06]