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New studios near ASU Downtown Mesa campus will be available to students

The Studios at Mesa City Center will be a collaborative space for students, entrepreneurs and industry leaders

ASU at Mesa City Center groundbreaking

Steven Tepper, the dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (second from left); President Michael Crow; city of Mesa Mayor John Giles; and Mesa Councilmember Jen Duff, along with staff from the University and the city of Mesa, break ground on the ASU at Mesa City Center building on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in downtown Mesa.

ASU students will have access to a new multi-use complex coming to downtown Mesa to assist them in business start-ups and development when it opens in late 2021.

The Studios at Mesa City Center is part of the city’s efforts to renew the area. The building will be right across from ASU’s planned Mesa facilities, which are currently under construction.

Although not many details have been released on the Studios, the purpose of the new complex is to have a shared space for ideas between students, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

Jake Pinholster, associate dean for enterprise design and operations for the Herberger Institute, said the building will provide workshops and spaces for new businesses and development.

“All of those resources will be available to students,” Pinholster said. “If you’re a student and you want to start a venture in downtown Mesa  … then that facility’s resources will be available to you.”

The project is currently in the design phase and is scheduled to start construction later this year. Studios at Mesa City Center is planned to be completed by late 2021 alongside ASU’s new building, ASU at Mesa City Center.

Pinholster, who is also the founding director for ASU at Mesa City Center, said the new campus will benefit upper-division film production students with top-of-the-line facilities.

The building will feature new graduate programs from the Herberger Institute, including software development and immersive experience design. Around 800 students are expected to attend the new campus.

READ MORE: Gallery: ASU breaks ground on new Mesa building

The City of Mesa’s Manager of Downtown Transformation Jeff McVay said he is looking forward to the impacts the project will have on the surrounding area.

“It’s gonna be the city’s front door to the innovation district for downtown,” McVay said. “Where the academic world can meet the corporate world.”

According to McVay, the studios will serve as a way for the public and ASU students to engage with academic and industry professionals.

The purpose of Mesa’s Innovation District is to provide high quality academic, business and entertainment spaces for a diverse group of people, from students to entrepreneurs.

The Studios will take over the vacant building that was once Mesa’s first public library. McVay said this economic repurposing will be beneficial for the downtown community.

Diana Damurjian, a sophomore film major, said she is looking forward to the opportunities she could get out of collaborating with others at these studios.

“Being able to have a place to make those connections is really important,” Damurjian said. “If you don’t have connections then you can’t get anywhere.”

Although Damurjian only recently discovered the new projects coming to Mesa, she said she is still excited about Herberger’s plans to join Mesa’s growing downtown district.

Mesa’s plans to redevelop the downtown district also includes The Plaza at Mesa City Center, a two-acre public gathering space that will include water features and a seasonal ice rink. The city also plans to open up a new building from Benedictine University, as well as restore the Historic Post Office.

There are currently many construction projects underway, but McVay said ASU’s presence is only the beginning of downtown Mesa’s transformation.

“This is one of the city’s first investments in the innovation district,” McVay said. “Hopefully, it’s going to be a very public and visual reflection of our intent with downtown.”

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