Downtown apartment complex

The Grid seems more like “the gridlock.”

Tribune readers asked about the sudden work stoppage on a much-ballyhooed downtown project called The Grid.

Indeed, while bulldozers are moving dirt at other construction sites up and down Main Street, there appears to be nothing going on behind the fenced-off areas next to Benedictine University and Wells Fargo Bank on the south side of Main Street.

Months after preliminary work started ...nothing.

Not exactly what project developers promised when construction began more than a year ago.

Back then, co-developer Karrin Taylor Robson said the project will be built in two phases, with the first segment slated to open in December 2020, and the second opening by December 2021. The first phase was to have restaurants and offices.

Why the delay?

One word, says Robson’s co-developer, Tony Wall:

“COVID.”

The pandemic impacted the project’s “personnel and supply chain. And lending. It’s been the whole gamut,” Wall added.

“We have stopped work for a while and we’re about to get going,” he added, chuckling that he was expecting the Tribune to ask about the work stoppage.

“The next four or five weeks we’re going to be there,” he said, when asked when construction would resume.

Wall said the first phase of the project now will be ready “the third quarter of next year” - nearly two years behind the original plan.

The Grid’s price tag, like the nearby ASU at Mesa City Center project, is right around $75 million. 

The Grid’s partnership is complex, with the City of Mesa and Benedictine University joined by a trio of developers.

“The GRID is being developed by Palladium Enterprises whose principals Tony Wall, Karrin Taylor Robson and Trevor Barger have long and successful tenures in Arizona real estate development,” according to press materials.

Robson is founder and president of Arizona Strategies, “a premier land use strategy firm headquartered in Phoenix,” according to the company’s website.

Robson, appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to the Arizona Board of Regents in 2017, announced she is running to be his successor as leader of the state.

With parts of the sidewalk narrowed and covered, the Grid’s spacious construction site begins a few feet off Main Street and extends to the Pomeroy Parking Garage, which is in front of Mesa Municipal Court on First Avenue.

The project website (thegridinmesa.com) promises “four levels of stunning residential units built on top of the Pomeroy Parking Garage,” highlighted by a rooftop lounge “with unparalleled views of downtown Mesa and mountains” overlooking a refurbished city park.

The plan calls for first-level shops and restaurants and two floors of office spaces.

According to the project’s website, “Developed in partnership with the City of Mesa, Benedictine University Mesa, and Palladium Enterprises, The GRID is a unique public-private partnership to bring residential and specialized commercial development to downtown Mesa.  

“This partnership will provide opportunities for student housing and realize the next step in Mesa’s urban vibrant urban vision for the downtown.”

As one reader said of the plans yet to come to fruition: “Hopefully not another Mesa pipedream up in smoke.” 

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