The owners of a 60-acre parcel of land at the northeast corner of South Avenue and Signal Butte in East Mesa submitted plans last month for a master-planned mixed-use development comprising 851 condominiums and 250,000 square feet of commercial space.
The so-called Medina Terminal is scheduled to be developed for the land purchased at an Arizona Department of Land auction in 2021 for $13.5 million.
The land is currently part of Maricopa County, although the owner of Bela Flor Communities is applying to annex it to Mesa in conjunction with the rezoning and site plan review.
About 30 acres of Medina Station has been allocated as a commercial center with about 16 stores and restaurants, including five take-out restaurants, among them Chick-Fil-A.
Vivo Partners, the developer of the commercial part of the Medina station, did not disclose the potential main tenant. But the landowner’s attorney told city planners during a pre-filing meeting in July that Target was planning to anchor the project.
Mesa planners said at the meeting that they wanted a development agreement with Bella Flor as part of the realignment and annexation.
They said the agreement would include a limit on the number of passages allowed in the commercial part of Madinah station and guarantees on the balance between commercial and residential in order to “get a true mixed-use development,” one of the planners said.
Bela Flor seeks to reduce the required number of parking spaces for multi-family housing as well as increase the maximum building height to 60 feet.
Described as a “mixed-use horizontal development” in Bela Flor’s submission documents, half of the site will be a shopping mall and the remainder will be apartments.
The residential part will include two residential complexes and an independent residential building with more than 55 apartments.
Greystar Worldwide is developing the 5-acre, 55-plus condos, and Hawkins is developing two multi-family communities for all ages spread across 24 acres, which will include 11 three- and four-story buildings.
“The vision for the condominiums of Terminal City is to create a unique living experience that blends comfort, sustainability and community,” Hawkins development partner Ryan Manteuffel wrote in an email.
“Distinctive features will include eco-friendly design elements, an emphasis on common spaces, recreational facilities and the integration of retail spaces that meet residents’ daily needs,” he wrote.
The site’s proximity to U.S. 60 and the “abundant job opportunities” surrounding Eastmark to the south make the site suitable for multifamily housing, Manteufel said.
The master plan’s projective narrative highlights the potential of the master plan.
City staff emphasized in a pre-application meeting that they want the commercial component and three residential communities to feel cohesive and connected, and Bella Flor said that was her goal.
It is expected that the Medina station will be constructed in two phases, with the commercial part and most of the residential components being constructed in the first phase.
“We expect to welcome residents to Phase 1 within an estimated 18 to 24 months of groundbreaking, with Phase 2 to begin shortly thereafter, subject to market demand and construction progress,” Manteuffel wrote.
Casey Treadwell, partner at Vivo, said they aim to complete the commercial division by the end of 2025.
Bella Flor’s attorney, Reece Anderson, said at a pre-application meeting that the commercial component of the project would likely go up as quickly or faster than the residential component in order to meet the anchor’s needs.
Treadwell said the Medina station mall will be a “regional attraction.”
“It’s the first thing people hit coming from the east,” and it’s easily accessible from the north and south.
Vivo is working closely with Mesa city staff on design criteria for the development, and city planners have been “very vocal and supportive of what the community wants,” Treadwell said.
Vivo plans to take the shopping center “to the next level” with a strong art and landscaping program, he said.
The mall “will have gathering spaces that are really designed for people to come together,” he said.
He added that Vivo is making efforts to employ full-service restaurants at Medina station, in addition to “best-in-class quick service” restaurants.