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Arizonans could be surfing in Mesa if a proposed development moves forward

Alison Steinbach, Arizona Republic

Arizona surfers could avoid the drive to California and flock to Mesa if a planned development comes to fruition with a two-acre wave lagoon.

A Southern California transplant living in Gilbert is behind the project planned at the southeast corner of Warner and Power roads, just north of Loop 202 on the border with Gilbert and within a mile of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Developer Cole Cannon said designing the perfect wave in Mesa is his “passion project.”

“Just picture: the family goes to the surf lagoon — Cannon Beach — and they grab some fish tacos, they put their feet in the sand on a lounge chair, the kids are playing over in the splash pad, maybe mom’s out there ripping on the surf while the dad is reading a book on the beach or hitting the gym,” he said.

The development envisioned with San Diego and Santa Monica-inspired architecture and a coastal theme would include water, entertainment and recreation, along with a hotel, retail shops and office space on about 40 acres. Another 20 acres at the south end of the property would be developed separately as light industrial space.

Cannon’s namesake development is scheduled to go before the Mesa City Council on Monday to rezone the agricultural land.

If approved, the targeted opening would be 2022.

An overview of the planned Cannon Beach development in southeast Mesa, including a wave lagoon for surfing, a hotel, shops, offices and a gym.

What’s Planned?

Beyond the waves and a beach, plans call for:

  • A four-story hotel with 150 rooms.
  • Office buildings.
  • A gym.
  • Restaurants.
  • Shopping.
  • Areas with fire pits, cabanas, splash pads, beach volleyball and outdoor games.
  • Activities like go-karts, rock climbing, trampolining and virtual experience games.
  • A parking garage.

“All immersed with views of oceanside character and the sound of crashing waves breaking in the desert sun,”according to plans submitted to the city.

Cannon said the plan is to begin underground work before the year’s end. He hopes to begin digging the surf lagoon toward the start of 2021.

The development would open to the public once the surf lagoon and hotel are completed, targeted for 2022, Cannon said. After that, restaurants, retail shops and other amenities would fill in, he said.

Renderings of fitness, retail and restaurant space at the planned Cannon Beach development in southeast Mesa.

The idea is to create an “experiential park” where people can try new things from surfing to fitness and grow outside their comfort zones.

“This is not like a Disneyland,” he said. “This is a place where people can go really push themselves.”

Surfing in the Desert

Cannon said he’s been working on technology to create different types of waves for amateurs, professionals and everyone in between.