In November, City Manager Bruno Rumbelow said the city will spend about $10 million to redevelop the pedestrian corridor between Dooley Street and Ball Street into a more pedestrian-friendly and visually appealing space. This area is frequently called the Dallas Road corridor. To help fund the Dallas Road corridor project, the city received a $5 million grant through the North Central Texas Council of Governments that will be matched with local funds.
According to city documents, numerous public meetings and workshops were held over the last several years in relation to the Dallas Road corridor. Some common themes from these meetings include: a walkable environment, a mix of unique and exciting uses, a focus on higher density but owner-occupied residential products and architecture that was compatible with the Main Street Historic District with its own unique style.
“What excites me most is the really embracing the fact that it is a transit-oriented district," Mesa architect Craig Melde said to the council.
He said next to the train tracks developments should have front doors facing the train tracks and front doors on the other side facing Dallas Road. This gives pedestrians access to businesses from the train station as well as Dallas Road.
Melde said this transit district is composed of three sub-districts consisting of high-intensity, medium-intensity and low-intensity development areas. High-intensity development would include local and regional restaurants, retail, and street and sidewalk vendors. Medium-intensity developments include less-intensive retail space, educational institutes and office space. Low-intensity development would include smaller residential spaces and duplexes.
Melde said the items included in the planning documents help create what he called an urban design structure. This sort of design structure is composed of three parts: the creation of a pedestrian hub; a streetscape that has an identity and communicates a sense of place; and public and private partnerships for business developments and attractions, similar to the San Antonio Riverwalk
Development Services Director Scott Williams explained that while Mesa Planning created this design plan, developers would not be obligated to follow it rather than the area's original zoning. But the city would encourage developers to follow this design plan with incentives, such as waiving development fees.
The design plan was met with generally favorable comments and passed unanimously.
"You've done a great job getting us started," Mayor William D. Tate said.