Will it be a raucous club that plagues a quiet east Mesa neighborhood with noise and crime, or one of the few places in Mesa where locals can grab a beer and sing their favorite karaoke tune?
That’s the question behind the saga of the Hurricane Bay nightclub, which proponents would like to put in a shopping center on Main Street and Sossaman Road that’s been vacant for years.
Frank Mizner, a planning and zoning board member, said at a January meeting that he thought “there’s no place to go to listen to music or dance” in Mesa and that he thinks such a club could work in the city.
The Mesa City Council is scheduled to have the final say on the issue tonight, and it will take six of seven members to approve the club. Neighbors, especially those of Mesa East, a tidy retirement community of manufactured homes across Main Street from the proposed club, are uncomfortable with the idea.
Phil Platt, a former Boeing employee from Washington state who winters in east Mesa, said that the club should be a “road house” far from where it can disturb neighborhoods.
He said he fears the noise from traffic from the 23,000-square-foot beach-themed nightclub potentially could attract thousands of patrons a night.
The opposition could be out in force today. More than 50 locals rallied against the club at a January meeting at which the city’s planning board approved the project 6-0. More in the audience noted their opposition but didn’t speak.
The club’s proponents have brought some heavy hitters to advocate the project after it failed to gain traction last year at a largely vacant factory outlet on Power and Baseline roads.
High-profile zoning attorney Ralph Pew is working the case and Rose and Allyn Public Relations, a Scottsdale firm, has publicized the benefits of the club.
They tout that the same type club owned by the same owners in Phoenix creates few problems, partly because of a 25-and-older crowd and private security that keeps the parking lot and drunken patrons from getting out of control.
Owners and investors of the Aztec Springs apartment complex directly north of the proposed club filed a legal challenge with the city. That will require six of the seven council members to approve the club.
Proponents of the club also say that they would not play “hip hop and rap music at the club” to avoid drawing a younger clientele, Pew has said.
Michael Pollack, owner of the Sun Valley shopping center, is backing the project. The shopping center used to have a grocery store, something residents say they would support.
However, he said that none of these type outlets have been interested in the shopping center and that the project could provide an opportunity to revitalize the area.
The Mesa City Council meeting starts at 5:45 p.m. in the upper level council chambers, 57 E. 1st St.