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Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:10 PM
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Will Mesa become a 'Twin City'? Or will it always be a bedroom community?

Will Mesa become a 'Twin City'? Or will it always be a bedroom community of Phoenix/Tempe?

I think we all agree that Mesa is the nation's largest suburb.

Here are some Mesa Stats:

1] The 2018 population estimate for Mesa, AZ is 508,000.
2] It's the second largest municipality in a metro of about 5 million.
3] On pace to pass up Arizona's second largest city: Tucson [pop. 545k] this decade.
4] Mesa is the 35th largest city in America, passing Sacramento and Atlanta this decade, will come close to pass Baltimore by 2030.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:24 PM
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Do people see San Francisco and San Jose as twins? The latter is bigger but San Francisco stands out as the main city where as San Jose is 'just another city' in the Valley to outsiders.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Do people see San Francisco and San Jose as twins? The latter is bigger but San Francisco stands out as the main city where as San Jose is 'just another city' in the Valley to outsiders.
Well no, however the difference between Phoenix and Mesa is a whole lot less than that of SF and SJ, the physical and social geographical differences are huge in the Bay Area. Metro Phoenix is more homogenous.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:28 PM
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What qualities or characteristics does Mesa have that could possibly qualify it as one of the rare 'twin cities' in America?
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:34 PM
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No, Mesa is just the largest suburb in a metro that has large-sized suburbs.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:30 PM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Downtown Mesa is starting to show signs of a pulse. That's thanks in part to light rail running right through the middle of town. Not coincidentally, former mayor Scott Smith now runs Valley Metro.

However, most of Mesa's built form is suburban and can't match Tempe's urbanity (much less Phoenix's) unless it undergoes some sort of a major urban overhaul. For that reason, it will always act as more of a bedroom community and can't really compete with what Tempe and Scottsdale have to offer. That could change eventually, but it'd take a while.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 View Post
Downtown Mesa is starting to show signs of a pulse. That's thanks in part to light rail running right through the middle of town. Not coincidentally, former mayor Scott Smith now runs Valley Metro.

However, most of Mesa's built form is suburban and can't match Tempe's urbanity (much less Phoenix's) unless it undergoes some sort of a major urban overhaul. For that reason, it will always act as more of a bedroom community and can't really compete with what Tempe and Scottsdale have to offer. That could change eventually, but it'd take a while.
I wonder if Mesa will become an attractive place to build some mid-rise structures in it's downtown area, within walking distance to their light rail, as a cheaper alternative to Tempe, which is becoming more and more pricey these days.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:37 PM
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I can't imagine there being midrises any time soon. Mesa's NIMBYs are some of the worst in the Valley, and there's still plots of desert right up to the Pinal County line waiting to be developed into subdivisions.

My parents moved to east Mesa two years ago from Ahwatukee (they're so close to Gateway Airport that you can read the tail numbers on Allegiant's jets). My knowledge of Mesa doesn't extend much past Mesa Drive (never had much reason to go any farther east when I was growing up) and I'm continuously amazed/flabbergasted by the amount of suburban development going out as far as Apache Junction...
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 8:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 View Post
I can't imagine there being midrises any time soon. Mesa's NIMBYs are some of the worst in the Valley, and there's still plots of desert right up to the Pinal County line waiting to be developed into subdivisions.

My parents moved to east Mesa two years ago from Ahwatukee (they're so close to Gateway Airport that you can read the tail numbers on Allegiant's jets). My knowledge of Mesa doesn't extend much past Mesa Drive (never had much reason to go past that growing up) and I'm continuously amazed/flabbergasted by the amount of suburban development going out as far as Apache Junction...
I worked in North Mesa near Falcon Field about 15 years ago. Everything south of Brown and west of Mesa Drive is much more urban than most people will acknowledge. West Mesa, specifically west of Mesa Drive is quite urban [especially for a suburb] in many regards. East Mesa is 100% dense suburban sprawl, which is the reason why Mesa continues to grow so rapidly. West Mesa has some potential for urban in-fill, while the east end could continue to sprawl outwards.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 9:54 PM
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How are we defining "urban" in the context of a discussion about Mesa? According to the New York Times' census widget, Mesa's highest-density census tract (tract 422103) works out to 17,481 persons per square mile. That may look impressive on paper...but then you look at the way it is built out....

https://goo.gl/maps/p2igHTMiYpEMLcGv5

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.3948...7i16384!8i8192

Ouch. While some may perceive that area as 'urban,' I don't.

Basically, we can look at it a couple of different ways: Mesa as a nondescript stretch of greater suburban Phoenix, and/or Mesa as a major American city in its own right. If it's the former, then it's not a 'twin city.' And if it is the latter, then it is the most unimpressive and boring major city in America, with the smallest downtown and the absolute worst skyline. Either way, the answer to the thread title is "no."
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by craigs View Post
How are we defining "urban" in the context of a discussion about Mesa? According to the New York Times' census widget, Mesa's highest-density census tract (tract 422103) works out to 17,481 persons per square mile. That may look impressive on paper...but then you look at the way it is built out....

https://goo.gl/maps/p2igHTMiYpEMLcGv5

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.3948...7i16384!8i8192

Ouch. While some may perceive that area as 'urban,' I don't.

Basically, we can look at it a couple of different ways: Mesa as a nondescript stretch of greater suburban Phoenix, and/or Mesa as a major American city in its own right. If it's the former, then it's not a 'twin city.' And if it is the latter, then it is the most unimpressive and boring major city in America, with the smallest downtown and the absolute worst skyline. Either way, the answer to the thread title is "no."
Considering that that location in West Mesa is 16 miles away from Downtown Phoenix, I'd say that's a pretty urban environment for a suburb.
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 10:19 PM
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I would disagree.

Mesa has a lot of people within its municipal borders, is growing rapidly, and part of it is served by a light rail line.

Nothing else about Mesa is noteworthy, and it doesn't enjoy a rare 'twin city' status because of that.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by craigs View Post
Nothing else about Mesa is noteworthy, and it doesn't enjoy a rare 'twin city' status because of that.
Currently No. Mesa doesn't deserve any recognition in that regard. But that's why I'm asking the question. Will Mesa one day in the our future become a Twin City, and let's not get hung up on the phrase 'twin city'. What I'm asking is Mesa capable of producing an urban skyline, while increasing it's population density, especially in West Mesa?
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2019, 3:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
Will Mesa one day in the our future become a Twin City, and let's not get hung up on the phrase 'twin city'.
The answer is no, plain and simple. How this could ever be considered a legitimate question is beyond comprehension.
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 11:09 PM
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They need a major university (the ship has sailed on that unless one is moved there) or a major industry to build around. Short of that, it's the biggest fraud of cities with 500,000 people. My suburb has 100,000 and nothing worthy of calling a CBD. I can't imagine that on a scale of 5.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 11:40 PM
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delete

Last edited by CaliNative; Oct 22, 2019 at 12:11 AM.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliNative View Post
Mesa is Phoenix's Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, Ft. Worth, St. Paul. Big but second in the urban area like the others. Notice I didn't mention San Jose. San Jose is #1 in the SF area now, at least in pop. if not urbanity. Phoenix is so massive in area & pop. it will always be #1.
I wouldn't even say that, its #1 in population but the true second Core to the Phoenix Metro is Tempe, Followed by Scottsdale, then Probably Chandler or Glendale followed by Gilbert and lastly Mesa.

Mesa just is nothing but sprawl it has a little downtown street that has improved but it does not even house a basic bar street/entertainment area like the other major suburbs do.
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
Will Mesa become a 'Twin City'? Or will it always be a bedroom community of Phoenix/Tempe?

I think we all agree that Mesa is the nation's largest suburb.

Here are some Mesa Stats:

1] The 2018 population estimate for Mesa, AZ is 508,000.
2] It's the second largest municipality in a metro of about 5 million.
3] On pace to pass up Arizona's second largest city: Tucson [pop. 545k] this decade.
4] Mesa is the 35th largest city in America, passing Sacramento and Atlanta this decade, will come close to pass Baltimore by 2030.
Not an Effing chance my man.

Maybe Tempe as it has a downtown core with some gravitas and tall buildigns

Mesa is just a giant sprawling mass that has no identity. It might as well be 20 small suburbs who cares.
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  #19  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2019, 12:00 AM
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And after Phoenix and Tempe, Scottsdale is much more notable to outsiders than is Mesa.
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  #20  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2019, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by craigs View Post
And after Phoenix and Tempe, Scottsdale is much more notable to outsiders than is Mesa.
True. However, Mesa does have couple miles of LRT transit, where Scottsdale does not.

Mesa has potential to develop an physical and visible urban node.
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