Three Mesquite organizations have now moved under one roof to continue building a better Mesquite.
The Mesquite Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mesquite Chamber of Commerce and the City of Mesquite's Downtown Development program have taken up operations in Heritage Plaza at 111 S. Broad St. in Downtown Mesquite.
“The Mesquite Chamber of Commerce is very excited to be a part of this new location along with the Downtown Development program and CVB,” said Mike Gibson, board chairman of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce. “The collaboration between these groups will provide businesses and the public vital resources in one place. Community collaboration will make businesses thrive in Mesquite.”
By having all three organizations under one roof, the synergy between these organizations will help build greater connectivity between visitors, businesses and community members, according to Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager Jessica McClellan.
"Our three organizations have always worked together over time, but all of us 'living' in the same building only offers us more opportunity to partner on projects of benefit to the community," added Beverly Abell, Mesquite Downtown Development Manager.
The building housing the three organizations has served many roles over the years. With its origins dating back to the 1880s, it was important to the City of Mesquite, which owns the property, to restore what it could of the building while still preparing it for modern-day use. Though the building had been the subject of major renovations over time, multiple features such as original brick walls remained and were restored.
“The rehabilitation of Heritage Plaza is a living learning lab for owners of older buildings who are considering adaptive reuse of their own properties," Abell said. "We're part of the Main Street program, which emphasizes the economic development value of restoring authentic structures and preparing them for modern-day use."
McClellan said the three organizations plan to have a mural on the side of the building to pay tribute to businesses that once occupied the block, including the city’s original newspaper, the Mesquiter.
With more than 100,000 Mesquite visitors guides available throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, the city brings in several visitors to attend its many conventions, shop at local businesses, cheer on at sporting events, or take in local cultural events and more.
“We're not trying to be Grapevine or Beverly Hills,” McClellan said. “That's one of the things I love about Mesquite. People are authentically themselves. Residents here will give you the shirt of their back to help you.”
McClellan said that with the business traffic seen in Mesquite, local branches of chain restaurants like Olive Garden and stores like Macy’s were the top performing locations, even during the pandemic.
“During COVID, a lot of cities had a lot of restaurants close,” she said. “In Mesquite, only four restaurants closed. That was it.”
As the three organizations continue settling in, McClellan said they plan on eventually having a kiosk where visitors can plan their trip in Mesquite and share that plan with friends digitally. Additionally, the Convention and Visitors Bureau plans on selling Mesquite-branded merchandise.
The central location for all three organizations has also helped in building downtown’s culture, with one feature being the Downtown Mesquite Farmers Market, which is held every Saturday, April through November, at Front Street Station. Locally sourced artisan goods and produce are featured alongside live music and activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“When you come out on a Saturday, you'll see who really lives here,” McClellan said. “It gives a place for us to come together. It gives people a place to get to know their community. I feel like I'm shopping locally and that my dollar makes a difference. I could spend money on Amazon, but Jeff Bezos doesn't need my dollar, where to someone local, that dollar makes a difference. I like to talk to the artists and hear their stories or to talk to the person about their items.”
Sitting at the crossroads for five major freeways, Mesquite will continue building itself to be an attractive destination for visitors, businesses and residents.
“We're really creating something here that's been years in the making, and it will take all of us,” McClellan said.