Due to strong local momentum for the arts as a strategy for downtown development, Artspace has been working with the Mesa community since 2012 to explore the feasibility of an Artspace live/work project. The Mesa Artspace Lofts initiative is a true community collaboration involving Artspace, NEDCO, Mesa’s Mayor, City Council and City staff, community leaders, neighbors and local artist residents. Five community meetings and a six-month long market survey of arts-space needs within the greater metro area were included in the process. The arts market study surveyed more than 660 artists in Mesa and the Valley metro area, with strong resulting figures showing interest and support for affordable rental housing for artists in downtown Mesa. Based upon the strength of the market survey results, Artspace, in collaboration with local partners, has moved forward with plans to develop a new, affordable live/work facility for artists and arts oriented businesses.
The Mesa Artspace Lofts, located at 155 South Hibbert in downtown Mesa, will include up to 50 units of live/work space for artists and their families. Residential units will vary in type including studio, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms. Unit rents will serve households below 60% of area median income levels. The project will include 1,450 square feet of ground floor commercial space for nonprofit arts organizations and creative businesses as well as 2,900 square feet of community space for events, exhibitions, and educational programs. The project is a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) site located one block from the new light rail corridor, major arts and culture assets and other downtown amenities.