Developers plan an oasis in a “desert of restaurants” | New
IDevelopers in southeast Mesa, Eastmark, and Cadence have successfully turned cactus fields into thousands of high-end homes.
But many of those who have moved to the new neighborhoods complain of being stuck in a “restaurant desert”.
Ask Peter Martens, a resident of Eastmark since moving from Gilbert six months ago.
It would be nice to have these types of amenities closer instead of driving to Gilbert or Queen Creek, ”he said.
When told about plans for the East Gate Plaza, which promises to bring half a dozen restaurants to Elliot and Ellsworth Roads, Martens was elated – adding that it really was a no-brainer.
“This area is booming, so I’m surprised it’s taking so long to have this type of development,” Martens said.
For months, whenever a new section of homes is announced, or a large corporation begins the process of opening a new warehouse or data center, the people of southeast Mesa have asked Councilor Kevin Thompson and others, “What about good restaurants?”
If you are looking for a job, this area has many large employers: a gigantic Apple data center needs technicians, Dignity Health Arizona General Hospital needs nurses and pharmacy technicians, Niagara Bottling needs technicians. need warehouse workers and drivers.
But what about the residents?
Locals have always complained that, with the exception of fast food, they have to drive south for romantic evenings and family meals.
Enter East Gate Plaza, a planned production of Diversified Partners – an “A-list” developer with projects on both sides of the valley.
At the northeast corner of Ellsworth and Elliot roads, across from Dignity Health, Diversified Partners claims to have “several agreements underway, including restaurants, retail, convenience / gas stations, coffee, desserts , nail salons and dental / orthodontic users. , to name a few.
If that’s okay with you, thank you to “Team JJ”.
Julie Harris and Jennifer Hill of Diversified Partners form the self-proclaimed “JJ Team” working to turn this barren corner into a bustling market.
East Gate Plaza’s clever name comes from the “marriage of Eastmark and Gateway Airport,” Hill noted.
Hill lives in northeast Mesa, making numerous trips to the southeast corner of town to make sure what she saw on Google Maps was legitimate.
“My first phone call was in January 2019; I just called the owner, ”she recalls. “It wasn’t even on the market.
“But I was like, ‘Someday that’s going to be the epicenter with Extensions 60, 202, and 24 and what’s going on at Eastmark and Elliot Technology Corridor.’ So I called the owner, a nice lady in Washington, and she put me in touch with her broker… Then I showed it to Walt.
The big man behind the deal is Walt Brown, founder and CEO of Diversified Partners.
He moved all in on that turn, realizing, as he said in a press release last week, “The explosive business growth along Elliot and Ellsworth, the proximity of three freeways, the airport an expanding Phoenix-Mesa Gateway, a new sports complex, and thousands of new homes planned and underway. “
While the purchase of the 17 acres to become East Gate Plaza is not entirely official yet, Brown, Hill and the company are confident it will be luck.
“We have at least six restaurants rented out or in (negotiations),” Hill said. “They are national, regional and local.”
Although she said she must be shy about the names at this point, when residents’ concerns over too much fast food in the area were shared, Hill smiled. “We’re not talking about McDonald’s or Jack in the Box,” she says.
“There will be patios,” she added. “The city has its eye on it because it is the gateway to the technological corridor; they want walking, they want community.
East Gate Plaza will have up to eight restaurants, Hill said, as well as spaces for medical offices (“family physicians, orthopedics, dentists”).
When asked if “restaurant desert” was a proper term for the Eastmark / Cadence at Gateway area, Thompson pondered the question.
“Right now that’s fair representation,” the District 6 councilor said. “We lack the amenities you see in other parts of town, when it comes to good sit-down restaurants.”
When meeting with the developers, Thompson said he encourages them to “step things up.” Let’s not go for the handy fruit of McDonald’s and Jack in the Box. “
Thompson’s thoughts on the East Gate Plaza project?
“I hope they bring good restaurants.”
That’s exactly the plan, say the East Gate developers – even though they don’t even own ownership of Ellsworth and Elliot yet.
“We’re going to be shutting down on the field next month,” Hill said. “Then we’ll start moving some dirt.”
The infrastructure plans include the installation of a traffic light on Peterson Avenue, the northern boundary of the property.
Ideally, restaurants, stores and offices will start opening in a little over a year.
Dane Astle, the project’s lead architect, promised a remarkable project in a press release.
“We are creating a destination community, playing on the technology corridor theme, which means there will be lots of glass, angular lines and rich materials such as masonry, roll-up doors and exposed steel elements. Astle promised.
“We’re creating a collaborative environment where people will come to work, take coffee breaks on benches under the trees, and stay for retail and restaurant experiences.