After two and a half years of construction and a $100 million investment by Mesa and ASU, the City and downtown businesses welcome students to ASU’s Media and Immersive eXperience Center (MIX), 50 N. Centennial Way. The state-of-the-art facility opening to hundreds of students in film, video production and digital technology this week will have a tremendous economic impact in downtown. Direct revenue to the City from ASU is estimated to be $7.45 million annually, while indirect economic activity is expected to generate an estimated $9.18 million yearly.
“The opening of the new ASU MIX Center to students this week is an exciting milestone in the evolution of Mesa’s downtown innovation district,” said Mayor John Giles. “This next phase of the partnership between the City of Mesa and Arizona State University is further expanding educational opportunities and adding to a uniquely skilled workforce in our city. The state-of-the-art facility is a game-changer for downtown Mesa, offering programs that will develop technology to impact numerous industries, like gaming, film and design, along with applications that will serve healthcare, aviation and advanced manufacturing.”
Downtown Mesa has seen impressive growth in recent years; attracting significant housing projects, commercial development and new businesses:
• There have been 397 housing units added since 2020. Only 254 were added between 2010-2020
• Four multifamily complexes are under construction totaling 867 market-rate units and $201 million in capital investment
• Seven housing developments are currently in planning totaling 1,868 units
• Three major commercial projects with a combined total of 31,000 square feet are under construction and two more with a combined total of 48,600 square feet are being planned
• There have been 21 new businesses added since 2020 with eight more under lease or development.
“The excitement is palpable in downtown Mesa,” said Nancy Hormann, President & Executive Director for the Downtown Mesa Association. “Since it was first announced that ASU was opening, the chatter over the impact has been constant between the business owners and developers. Over the last few years, the growth here has been incredible. Having a strong student base in the heart of downtown further solidifies that we have the means and stability to continue to be a major player when businesses are looking where to open up in the Metro Phoenix area.”
Downtown is Mesa’s innovation district – the City’s historic core and where ideas are born to take us into the future. Students attending the MIX Center will be making films, designing new virtual worlds and video games and creating other immersive media experiences of all kinds. It will house The Sidney Poitier New American Film School.
“Arizona State University is thorough and strategic in assessing needs and establishing presences in the communities it serves,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Universities are their own, comprehensive economic engines, and with all that historic Mesa has to offer, we are proud to work with the City to open and help Mesa City Center and the surrounding area to flourish.”
The MIX Center is part of the ASU at Mesa City Center complex, a collaboration between the City of Mesa and ASU. While students expand their knowledge and create new applications for film and digital technologies in the areas of healthcare, aviation, and public safety, to name a few, The Studios, 59 E. First St., are the public’s front door to innovation. ASU and the City of Mesa will collaborate to foster business partnership and provide educational and professional training in entrepreneurship, digital literacy, future technology, and small business.
The Plaza at Mesa City Center will create a major public civic space. It includes an interactive water feature, an iconic shade canopy over an area for the Merry Main Street ice rink and other events and a large lawn space to view movies and videos on an exterior high-resolution screen on the adjacent MIX Center.