At home in East Mesa with The Gittus Family

John and Carissa Gittus decided they wanted to be closer to their church, their friends, and their families. Welcoming their first daughter into the world helped them to introspect and simplify their lifestyles. Interestingly enough, East Mesa is a common destination for those who do similar.

John and Carissa play with their newborn daughter.

An adorable house on a family-friendly street in Mesa.

Tastefully and impeccably designed and renovated home.

A true sense of community and fulfillment.

John and Carissa Gilbert made the move under a year ago. Prior to this, they had a beautiful home in South Phoenix. After some soul searching, they decided it was time to pack up and move closer to the amenities and the lifestyle for which they longed, and which they found in East Mesa. “It’s close to family. All of our network, our friends and family are out here. We were in Phoenix and we wanted a larger lot. Coming further east allowed us to have that.” With a daughter on the way, it became increasingly important to simplify their life and allow themselves to give her all the time and attention she would deserve. “Our old house was 3,200 square feet with five bedrooms, for just us two. We wanted to reduce our mortgage, reduce our stuff. We were about to have a baby and Carissa was going to stay home from work. So it just made sense all around to reduce everything.”

Now with their newborn daughter, they live in an adorably decorated home in this quant Valley neighborhood. They love their new life. Explore it below.

The Lifestyle

Quiet, manicured neighborhood streets.

Manicured and family-friendly public parks.

Nearby outdoor recreation spots for hiking and biking.

The local's favorite coffee spot, Bergies.

A quant and quiet lifestyle.

Do you love urban living? Walkability? Mom and pop shops, hustle and bustle, and the constant stream of nightlife offerings? Then, simply put, East Mesa is not for you. These communities are calm, and they want it that way. Quiet living at its finest, for the most relaxing of days and the most loving of evenings. This has cultivated a true sense of community within its residents. They help each other, support each other, and, unlike many modern communities, talk to each other. “We found that a lot of our neighbors actually came out and talked with us, and have been around to help with things we needed here and there. It’s more of a community feel. There’s a park down the way that’s always full with kids and families. In Phoenix, everyone just kind of stayed in their homes and did their own thing. No one really knew each other, so that’s something I really enjoy here.”

That’s not to say you’re shut off from the outside world. As growth has exploded in a number of areas surrounding East Mesa, it’s given these residents newfound access to amenities never before seen here. Downtown Mesa and Gilbert are both just minutes away, offering a night out when one is needed. Additionally, closer to home are a multitude of chain restaurants and big-box stores, allowing residents to quickly and easily maintain their day-to-day needs.

The Work

Welcome to Mesa, Arizona's aerospace hub.

Boeing produces planes and helicopters in Mesa.

From aerospace engineers to retirees and everything in-between.

There is no rhyme or reason to who lives and works here. They’re here because they found a friendly and loving community, centered not around industry, but around genuine experiences. East Mesa has become something of a hub for retirees, both as the populace has aged and as implants have moved in. There is a common narrative wherein those who enjoy peace and quiet fall in love with these streets.

That said, there are exceptions to this rule. In the late 90’s, Boeing opened a production facility in Mesa known primarily for producing Apache attack helicopters. As of now, these facilities employ well over 3,000 Mesa residents, making it one of the largest single employers in the entire city. Boeing did good by their investment and their employees when they announced earlier this year that they will be transferring hundreds of additional jobs from their Seattle headquarters to what will become a new and improved Boeing operation in Mesa.

The Play

East Mesa is quant, but connected to many amenities.

The Superstitions are perfect for those who love the outdoors.

Nandos is a favorite among the locals.

Dana Park, a common shopping and dining destination.

“Dana Park, Thai Chili, Pita Jungle, Ra Sushi, Nando’s — We love it all!”

East Mesa puts its residents smack in the center of several unique amenities. To be completely honest, this part of the city doesn’t offer much in and of itself, other than convenient proximity. Within minutes you can be in urban environments, such as Downtown Mesa or Downtown Gilbert. You can go shopping at Superstition Springs Mall or you can even go enjoy hiking, biking, or camping in the Superstition Mountains. Residents here love that the community afford you the ability to have quiet nights in, or, just a short drive away, any other experience you could wish for. Dana Park is among a wide variety of options for families looking to soak up some sun, and everyone can enjoy eateries like Thai Chili. It’s all just minutes away.

“We like being close to church, to our families, and to downtown Gilbert too. We go out of town a lot on the weekends. We can be on the Beeline in no time and be out of town from there. And being right here on the 60, we can get anywhere easily.”