Saturday July 2, 2016
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Isn't that precisely the point of the plan - create incentives to drive visitors, businesses and investment to the area? It isn't going to get better by simply stating the obvious and giving in to it.
Pat, please adhere to your own advice.
That was a Mervyn's store on the NE corner of Stapley and Main behind Denny's, not a Target store. There was a Kmart, as Richard pointed out, in that area. It was at Lindsey and Main and it is closed (as is Mervyn's). As for Apache Junction, I never said a word about it.
To my original point, what does Target (or Mervyn's or Kmart) open or closed, have to do with this story?
And I meant Main and Dobson here, not Apache (Main becomes Apache about a mile west of Dobson at the Tempe border).
"Not long ago" was 2004, 12 years. Mekong Plaza was developed in 2006, 10 years.
Wow. Put your tin-foil cap on for a minute. That was offered only as an example of a hotel on a university campus. I guess I could have used the Nittany Lion Inn at Penn State, or some other on-campus hotel example. Perhaps I should check the property records of Happy Valley, Pa. to make sure that some long-lost relative of Joseph Smith didn't build it. Holy smokes.
Main Street at what intersection? I'm talking about the one that used to be at Main and Apache. Perhaps you're talking about another one. And nobody said it was a restaurant expanding to the railroad, if you do mean the one on Main and Apache, it is now Mekong Plaza, which includes several restaurants, a grocery store and shops. That will extend to the other side of the railroad when a new market, owned by the same person, opens on the south side of the tracks there. Two different operations, same owner.
As to the university plan, hotel and conference center. Obviously, the plan for a hotel presumes that the university will generate business for the hotel, including conferences. The conference center, if it is like every other hotel built on or near a campus (see the University Marriott at the U of Utah, for example) includes a conference center.
I'm confused about what Target or Kmart have to do with it. I don't see any mention of that in the story. And the Target on Main Street in Mesa was closed because one opened at Tempe Marketplace and another at Fiesta Mall, both within 5 miles. Both of those Target stores are going gangbusters. The Kmart was located on Broadway and Dobson, by the way. The old location of Target is now Mekong Plaza, a thriving, packed asian food, market and retail space that is expanding to the south across the railroad track. It is a very walkable space, which is one reason for its popularity and something missing in Payson. If Main Street is going to become an attraction, it has to be pedestrian friendly. I totally agree with the assertion that connecting trails to a main street and then making that area walkable and bicycle friendly is the solution. American Gulch could be cleaned up with trails, trees, other landscaping, benches, etc.to create a park-land greenbelt link to Green Valley Park and to Main Street. Yuma has done this beautifully along its water front, connecting it to the territorial prison and their "main street" retail, shopping, restaurant area. The problem is paying for it all.
Involvement from IMBA and local riders is likely to have exactly the opposite impact that Mr. Heffner suggests. Trail building involves just that -- building trails, which includes filling the ruts, not creating them; marking trails to keep users out of the surrounding terrain, and building connectors to bring the network of trails together. Mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners tend to be the most responsible users of trails and are more likely to pack out somebody else's trash than leave their own.
Growth must come "naturally, with decent jobs first." And a university will not provide decent jobs? It is an economic engine. College towns are some of the most desirable places to live in the country, in part because they generate jobs at the campus and for businesses that support the faculty, staff and students. That's how you get growth, in my opinion, not by sitting on your hands and hoping that decent jobs miraculously appear out of the ether.
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