Mesa’s history is one of mysterious Indians, Spanish expeditions, early American explorers, Mormon migrations, a diverse community and continual, quality growth. Mesa is the third largest city in Arizona and the second largest in the Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan area. The entire Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan area is now the 14th largest in the U.S. Mesa alone is the nation’s 40th largest city. This city is located just 15 miles east of Phoenix, and covers an astounding 128 square miles. In 2007, the population now registers over 458,000 residents, with growth of 59.1% from 1990 to 2007.
For businesses, residents and visitors, Mesa offers a quality urban experience with a young, highly skilled work force, more than 300 days of sunshine each year, low cost of doing business, low crime rate, superior schools, affordable and available housing, an excellent cost of living and quality of life, and a wide array of outdoor recreation activities. Mesa provides all of the advantages of a thriving metropolis while maintaining the feel of a suburban environment that is family friendly.
Mesa’s diverse economic base consists of several industries including aerospace/aviation, automotive, business services, education services, electronics, health services, manufacturing, retail and transportation services. The city’s superior workforce totals over 220,000 and a pool of over 1 million workers reside within a 30 minute commute of Mesa. It is truly an economic hub for the Southeast Valley with eight regional employment centers and/or development corridors including Downtown Mesa, Falcon Airpark, Fiesta Quadrant, Power Rd. Corridor, Superstition Freeway Corridor, Superstition Springs, Union Pacific Business Corridor, and Williams Gateway Airport.
The city’s children attend one of Arizona’s highest rated and largest public school systems, but the focus of K-12 education in Mesa is “choice.” Both public and private schools offer an array of educational options for primary and secondary students. Charter schools, magnet schools, international baccalaureate programs, numerous parochial, Montessori, and other options typify Mesa’s commitment to education.
Mesa also enjoys the best in a variety of amenities that include over 55 parks within easy walking distance from your home, a variety of sports facilities that cater to young and old athletes alike, over 28 highly rated golf courses in each skill level, diverse arts, special events and community festivals, the ever-popular Chicago Cubs Spring Training baseball at Hohokam Stadium, and snow skiing within 3 hours. Water skiing, desert jeep tours, horseback riding, aerial adventures, hiking and tubing down the Salt River are some of the favorite activities in and around Mesa. There are many acclaimed museums in the area including the Mesa Southwest Museum, Arizona Museum for Youth, and the Commemorative Air Force Museum. And, right in the middle of the newly renovated and redesigned Downtown Mesa at Center and Main Streets is the impressive, brand new Mesa Arts Center with over 212,755 square feet of performing arts, visual arts, and arts education. It is the largest and most comprehensive arts center in the state. If shopping is your thing, Mesa doesn’t disappoint! This large city offers a wide array of shops throughout the town including Fiesta Mall, Superstition Springs Center, Dana Park Village Square, Village at Las Sendas and a range of historic and fun shops in Downtown Mesa.