MESA, Ariz. - The Mesa Arizona Temple has been undergoing extensive renovations since May of 2018 and while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple isn't open just yet, many new businesses and housing units are.
The redevelopment project for the surrounding area of the temple broke ground in October of 2018 and is set to be fully completed by the end of May.
The 12 acres surrounding the temple have been fully renovated and revitalized. Included in the upgrades are a 450-stall underground parking garage, an apartment building and new homes lining the redesigned street leading up to the temple.
"243 apartment units. South of the garage, we have 32 new homes and they’re in various configurations. We have townhomes. We have single-family detached homes, we have a duplex. We have products that meet all requirements. We go from about 3,500 square feet all the way down to about 1,600," says Carl Duke with the City Creek Reserve, adding that the housing in the area leased out much faster than anticipated.
"Our homes were extremely popular. The 32 new homes were taken up in a period of two months," Duke says.
On top of the parking garage is 8,000 square feet of retail space. That will include the new visitors center and Deseret Book which is now open.
The new store took the place of the much smaller Deseret Book down the street that had been there for about 40 years.
"We have home decor, we have books, we have paintings. Stuff to really bring the spirit into your home," says Lori Breon with Deseret Book.
Sweet Retreat is almost complete as well. The ice cream shop will be the first and only place to serve BYU Creamery Ice Cream outside of Utah.
Breon says it will add an even sweeter buzz to the area. "It’s really sprucing up downtown. A lot of people are out walking around now. Last night I was putting something in the window and so many people are going for walks now, which wasn’t the case before."
Sweet Retreat will be open in the coming weeks.
There’s no set date on when the temple will be complete, but once it is and once it’s safe to gather in large groups, it will be open to the public for an open house before it's rededicated.