Date: September 17 – 22, 2006
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Primary Sponsor: East Valley Partnership
Chair: Alex J. Rose
Subject Area: Regional Growth and Planning, Transportation Infrastructure and Management, Economic Development
Summary of Recommendations:
At the request of the East Valley Partnership and a host of other sponsors, the ULI Adversity Services panel evaluated the economic development potential for the Williams Gateway Area in Mesa, Arizona. Without hesitation, the panel had ample reason to declare the Williams Gateway Area as one of the most promising expanses of underdeveloped land in the southwestern United States. It had the capability of becoming both an economic driver for the East Valley and a vast master-planned community.
The development of the Williams Gateway Area would require stakeholders to begin planning on all fronts (transportation, industry, housing, infrastructure) immediately, together, with a singular vision and common goals. The success of this vision would require bold moves and dedicated leadership. The public and private sectors would have to work together to execute important action plans. Developing urban villages was one of the many vital changes needed in the space. These villages would include a substantial amount of employment uses, sustainable and compact residential densities, supplemented by world-class amenities such as recreational uses and open space. The goal was to present the Williams Gateway Area as an exceptional destination for business and educational opportunities, complemented by the Williams Gateway Airport and Arizona State University. Following the panels suggestions the area could become a true multimodal transportation hub with road, rail, and aviation connectivity. The panel had laid out an initial broad outline, with the path to success laid out, but it became the choice of the city as whether to follow it or not.