Cluster of Asian businesses thriving in western Mesa

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Dozens of Asian-owned businesses have set up shop in western Mesa, with two large supermarkets serving as anchors for development that includes restaurants and other businesses.

The commerce cluster is aided by proximity to Mesa Community College and the presence of Arizona State University's main campus in neighboring Tempe.

With the closing of the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix last year, the Arizona Republic reports many see the Asian business district in Mesa as a natural successor to become a hub for Asian-Americans in metro Phoenix.

Property manager Steven Diep says when Mekong Plaza opened in 2008, fewer than 10 Asian-owned businesses were open in the area.

Now, Mekong is at full occupancy with 28 tenants and has spurred development in the rest of the Asian business district in Mesa.