Pala Mesa apartments has actually been the best apartment complex that I have lived in in the ASU / Tempe area. When I first moved in it was nice and got a lot better once the new management took over.
This apartment complex took care of a lot of gripes I had with previous living arrangements. The uncovered parking for roommates and extra guests was always available and not much of a walk from my building.
I always felt safe in the complex since it was gated and the security guard who walked it at night was very friendly. I never had any issues with anyone lurking around the parking lot or anything like that.
The rent is very affordable for a Tempe apartment, the gym had all of the basic necessities and the pool was good for sunbathing on sunny afternoons. Probably my biggest gripe living here was not the apartment complex itself, but the traffic lights on Apache blvd due to the light rail which made driving take a lot longer than it should have. If you plan to ride the light rail frequently, however, it is just a 5 minute walk to the nearest station.
Overall, great apartment complex, I would live here again if I ever needed something affordable near the light rail.