The utilities are in and some of the palm trees are up at Mesa Riverview, the west Mesa retail project ithat gained voter-approved tax incentives last year.
Crews have been busy with utility and roadwork for the 1.3-million-square-foot center at Dobson Road just south of Loop 202 and are focusing on the 16-screen Cinemark theater.
“That’s the big building that you see going up,” said Joanie Flatt, Riverview spokeswoman. “Cinemark is actually ahead of schedule. We didn’t expect them to open until June or July and they are going to open in late May.”
Meanwhile, Bass Pro is “tentatively scheduled to open on Thursday, April 19, 2007,” said Bass Pro Spokesman Larry Whiteley.
Crews are “pretty close” to breaking ground for the store that is billed as both a tourist attraction and an outdoor-lover’s paradise.
Bass Pro is on one end of Riverview’s entertainment district while Cinemark sits at the other, Flatt said. In between, there will be 123,000 square feet of restaurants and shops in a pedestrian-friendly design. The center also has a Wal-Mart and Home Depot expected to open early next year, Flatt said, and Bed Bath and Beyond just became another tenant.
Developers DeRito Partners Development and Kimco Developers are “in negotiations” with several dealers for the 33-acre auto mall across Dobson Road, Flatt said.
She wouldn’t name any potential tenants.
The dealerships are part of the overall 250-acre project that also includes a 36-acre office park to the east of the retail shops.
Even without named dealerships, Tanya Collins said the neighborhood is geared up for Riverview’s opening.
“We’re thrilled about it. Every time we get together as a neighborhood group, we talk about what we can see and what we’re all anticipating,” Collins said. “It’s been a hard road.”
Collins is co-chairwoman of Mesa Grande Community Alliance, the group that supported the project during the referendum.
Voters approved an $84 million incentives package for the project in a special election held last May.
Flatt said the contentious election is old news and with the upcoming theater opening, the community “will have something fun to do in west Mesa.”
Asked about the competition for tenants between Tempe Marketplace, a 1.3-million-square-foot Vestar project being developed less than two miles to the west, and Mesa Riverview, Flatt said it’s nothing new.
“There’s not a particular competition between the Tempe Marketplace and Mesa Riverview above and beyond how they normally compete with each other. And they compete with one another for tenants in every newly opening retail center anywhere in the state,” Flatt said.