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Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET)

The downtown is located within an established Central Business District (CBD) and Redevelopment Area (RDA). Provided the development meets certain conditions and approval of a development agreement with the City, the City may grant a GPLET with an 8-year tax abatement. This incentive exchanges the regular tax rate with what is often a much lower excise tax.

Downtown Small Business Attraction Utility Rate

The Downtown Small Business Attraction Utility Rate Program offers a 25% reduction in energy and water bills for three years for new businesses that fit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business.

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Patio Encroachment

Mesa supports a vibrant and active downtown. Encroachments are reviewed at no cost to businesses in the downtown area and are granted on a case-by-case basis.

Downtown Patio Guide

Expedited building/construction plan review

Mesa offers expedited and super expedited plan review for 100% or 200% of the permit cost, respectively. No-cost expedited plan review can be negotiated on a case by case basis.

Long-term structured parking leases

The City of Mesa owns numerous surface and structured parking lots in downtown with long-term leases options.

Self-certification of building/construction plans

The Self-Certification Program eliminates plan review by allowing a registered professional to take responsibility for and certify a project's compliance with building code, standards and ordinances. Self-Certification reduces permit issuance to within five working days of application.

Designated Downtown Project Manager

Large development or redevelopment projects may be assigned a dedicated downtown project manager at no cost to help navigate the project through municipal level processes, permits and agreements.

Sign Program

Mesa’s Downtown Sign Program is a grant program made possible by a generous grant from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. This is a competitive grant with limited funding. Participants will be selected based on evaluation criteria outlined in the program application. Signs with neon or neon-like elements and projecting signs will receive preference points.

The grant amount for each business is not defined and will be determined based on the need, value and benefit to the public urban environment of each proposed project. Permit and encroachment fees (if applicable) are not covered by the grant.

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Façade Program

The Mesa City Council approved 4.4 million dollars in American Rescue Act funding for Downtown Revitalization projects on June 16, 2022. Combined with grants, the City intends to spend a total of 5 million dollars on downtown projects, including the Downtown Façade Improvement Program. The program will fund design, demolition and the vast majority of construction costs for facades between Country Club and Center, 1st Avenue to 1st Street. Façade selections will be complete by the end of 2022 and design is anticipated to begin fall 2023.

You can take a tour of the Façade 1.0 projects from 2018 here:

Important updates will be posted on this page. You can also contact the program manager at

See the Interactive Map & Photos to see completed projects.

Interactive Map & Photos