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Mesa Approves Long-Term Lease To Build ASU East Campus
Calling it an opportunity to get a “good rate of return,” Mesa’s mayor and other city counselors approved a long-term lease allowing Arizona State University to open an ASU East campus.
The decision was not unanimous. Mesa City Council member Kevin Thompson and Jeremy Whitaker were concerned the council was bypassing voters’ who turned down a proposed sales tax hike for the campus back in 2016.
But, the mayor, and the other council members, focused on the long-term impact of economic growth the university promises to provide and went on to approve a 99-year lease with ASU.
Attached to the plan is an excise tax bond that would fund the $6.5 million building, mapped out for Centennial Way and Pepper Place and directly across from Mesa’s City Hall.
The council said it has placed the project under its utility revenue budget, which avoids imposing a property tax or asking for another public vote on a sales tax.
Critics are concerned the project will syphon city dollars from public safety programs and raise resident’s utility prices.