Historic Hayden Flour Mill Coming Back To Life

The historic Hayden Flour Mill has been a Tempe landmark since the 1800s. For years, we have heard of plans to revitalize the old Mill, and it finally looks like there is a plan in place to transform this Tempe treasure into a mixed use commercial development that will allow the old silos to continue watching over our city for many years to come.

On December 14th, the city council approved a zoning change that allows the re-zoning and leaseback of land that should be one of the last hurdles to allow this deal to happen.

Basically, Tempe is leasing the land to a development group made up of Aparium Hotel Group, Baum Revision and BlueRoad Ventures, all of which are based out of Chicago. According to multiple sources, this is the same development group that has been sniffing around Mill Avenue for quite some time. They have wanted to develop this property and have apparently found some cash under the pillow of Dick Portillo of Portillo’s restaurant fame, which allows them to make the deal a reality.

We take everything that makes a city great—its history, heart, and utility; its passion, tragedy, and soul—and boldly bring them together into one extraordinary piece of the cultural puzzle. – Aparium Hotel Group.

We’ll be seeing a mixed-used project with restaurant and retail space, as well as some super-cool offices. The second phase of the project will include the boutique hotel by the Aparium Hotels group. Construction on phase one could start as early as March, with a completion date of summer 2019. I’m not going to hold my breath for that timeline, as many of these projects get delayed. Um, anyone remember the sale of the Monti’s property across the street from the Hayden Flour Mill? It was going to be completed in 2017 and they haven’t even begun construction on the buildings yet…

Hayden Flour Mill to get new life with commercial space, restaurants and hotel

Hayden Flour Mill – Rich in History:

I have taken many photos of the old Mill over the years, as I’m sure millions of people have. Here are a few that I thought were kind of cool. These first two show some of the rich history of the old buildings. The photo on the left shows Hayden C Hayden and a couple of shots from when the Hayden Flour Mill was in operation. The middle photo shows a sign that stood near the corner of Mill and Rio Salado, and the photo on the right shows a fading painting that I’m sure has been around a lot longer than I have.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Inside the belly:

I took these next three photos one day when former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman gave us an inside look at the old Mill many years after production had stopped. I was fascinated by the old machinery and loved looking at the big old safe that was built into a concrete wall.

The original Mill was built in 1874 by Charles Hayden. The large grain silos were not built until 1951. The Hayden family operated the mill until the 1980s, and flour was ground here until 1997.

More of my Hayden Flour Mill photos can be found here:

The Future is Bright in Tempe:

Citing large demand for hotel space and a real desire to do quality adaptive reuse projects, this development group appears to be saying all of the right things.  Downtown Tempe has seen thousands of jobs coming to the area from multiple industries such as technology, insurance and healthcare.  The jobs and growth in the downtown Tempe area have been a great success story in recent years, for sure..

The two-phase adaptive reuse project will span 150,000 square feet, celebrate the distinguished architectural character of the existing historic structures, and tastefully expand upon the site with the addition of a modern, mid-rise building. Upon completion, the property will consist of a full-service hotel featuring 165 guestrooms and suites, market-leading food and beverage offerings and innovative meeting space, as well as 30,000 square feet of boutique retail and creative office space. The project will also debut an expansive event lawn space for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors. – AZ Big Media

This is a photo of Mill Avenue from approximately 1900. A lot has changed in our city since that time. Back then, I bet very few people ever envisioned billion dollar real estate deals, a modern streetcar system, a 100,000 student University or the amazing city we have grown to become. I often wonder what the next couple hundred years will bring.

We sincerely hope this Tempe treasure will be developed into something of which we can all be proud.

Mill Avenue 1900's

Tempe Happy To Welcome Zenefits – Many Others

It seems like the jobs just keep coming to Arizona and that is certainly welcomed news in Tempe. Companies like GoDaddy, Northern Trust, DriveTime Automotive, Reputation.com, Shutterfly and, of course, State Farm are some of the companies hiring and expanding in Tempe.

Zenefits Expanding in Tempe:

Zenefits at Hayden Ferry Tempe

Zenefits – Hayden Ferry

This past week, it was announced that Zenefits is expanding their operations in Tempe at the super-cool 3rd and final Hayden Ferry tower that is currently under construction. They signed a lease for 5 floors of the Class A tower and will occupy 135,000 square feet of space. Zenefits plans to hire 700 people by the end of the year, which will bring their number of employees to 1300 after adding to the 600 employees they already have at their Old Town Scottsdale location.

Zenefits will be joined by a lot more new faces along Rio Salado Parkway in the very near future. The new Hayden Ferry Tower is already 92% leased before being completed, and Marina Heights is not far behind with their addition of thousands of jobs. Yes, thousands. Depending on where you get your information, we’ve heard 6000, 8000, 10,000 and 12,000 jobs being added at the massive Marina Heights development. I am not sure exactly how many they are bringing, but I am sure that the area will be forever changed by the tremendous amount of development we are currently seeing.

Zenefits will benefit by this awesome location, the large talent pool of employees and the proximity to the airport, Mill Avenue and all that the super-cool 85281 zip code has to offer.

We’ve found a great talent pool in the greater Phoenix area. We’ve been able to hire a lot of ambitious, smart people and we want to keep tapping into that market. This Tempe location is great, too.” – Mark Woolway, Zenefits VP of corporate development and business operations

The City of Tempe seems pretty pleased with the amount of new jobs coming to the area. From the Tempe city council to the Chamber of Commerce, there has been a lot of talk about the expansion that is occurring. Of course, we’d be happy to help Mr. Woolway and his crew find new homes for Zenefits employees in the area. We can think of some pretty cool lakeside communities near their offices. Of course, another nice thing about the area is the fact that MANY choices are available within a short commute from their new offices. Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe all have a ton of options for people wanting to be close to their shiny new building on Mill and Rio Salado.

More Reasons To Live In A Villagio Condominium

We know that the Villagio Condominiums in Tempe have long been popular with ASU students.  Close to campus, low maintenance lifestyle, 2 swimming pools, garages, close to freeways and the airport so that mom and dad can easily come to visit, etc.

Here’s an example of a home for sale at Villagio:

280 S Evergreen #1369 – The home has 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a 2 car garage and is a great looking home for under $200k.

Villagio in Tempe

With over 700 units at Villagio, the place has plenty of room for people of many life stages. With units ranging from 2-4 bedrooms, Villagio can be a good choice for professionals, families, singles and more.

Other than being close to ASU, here’s a few more reasons to consider Villagio:

1:  Sports fans: With the new Cubs Spring Training home being built directly across the street, you’ll soon have more neighbors from Chi’ Town to meet.

2. State Farm Employees: State Farm and the Marina Heights project mean more jobs and more people moving to Tempe. The Marina Heights project is located on Rio Salado, just West of Villagio. More professionals will certainly be looking here.

3. FHA Loans? In Tempe, close to campus, it is pretty hard to find a condo complex that is FHA approved. For some, that’s no big deal. For others, it’s huge. For students, the “Kiddie Condo loan” can be a great way to go. Basically, a Kiddie Condo loan is an FHA product that allows “a non-occupant co-signer to qualify for the loan. The actual occupant of the home does not have to have employment, income or assets. However, the occupant’s credit must meet FHA’s qualification standards.”

Villagio HUD approved

Think about it. The Kiddie Condo allows Johnny or Suzie student to buy a home with mom and dads help. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a condo. Single family homes work, too. With a down payment as low as 3.5%, mom and dad aren’t even out a whole lot of cash. The popular 85281 zip code near ASU offers many choices. We just happen to think Villagio seems to make $ense for a wide range of people.

Realty Executives Welcomes Lori Bastian

Yes, it’s official. After holding an inactive real estate license for the past eight years, Lori has flipped the switch and become a REALTOR with Realty Executives. We are excited about this next phase of our business, as it will allow us to concentrate on our different strengths in helping buyers and sellers during the home buying process. While our family will always come first, we both enjoy this business VERY much and look forward to continuing to improve our systems and find new, innovative ways to better serve each and every one of our clients.

Many of you know Lori, so you know that she had a very successful sales career when we met. Lori’s background working for RR Donnelley  involved many large accounts like US Airways, AT&T, and Best Western International, and this experience is a perfect fit for success in the real estate business, as well. Her personal skills, attention to detail, business planning, and sales knowledge will certainly be an asset to our business.

While the stay at home mom gig has been an amazing opportunity for our entire family, Lori’s desire to have more “adult conversation” comes at a time when, by working together, we can better manage my growing business.

Please join me and say “congrats!” to the newest member of the Realty Executives family.

Lori Bastian can be reached at 602-803-6425.

Camelot Corner Tempe AZ

Welcome to the Camelot Corner in Tempe, AZ. I came up with the name of Camelot Corner recently when thinking of an area of town that I believe has a lot to offer. Basically, it’s homes from McClintock Drive on the west and the Price / 101-Freeway to the east and from Guadalupe Road south to the canal.

In Camelot Corner, there is a great mix of housing options within six different residential neighborhoods. For example, there are two neighborhoods called Camelot Village and Camelot Park Villas, and these two neighborhoods combine to take up a large portion of the homes within the area. Hence, the Camelot Corner name. The other four neighborhoods are Biscayne Bay, Legends at Tempe, The Cottonwoods  and Round Valley Estates. On the western edge of the neighborhood, there is also an apartment complex called the Little Cottonwoods. If interested in the homes for sale in Camelot Corner <<—- just click that link to see the latest information or click on the homes below to see all of the homes for sale in the area..

Some of the things I like about this area are the lifestyle choices and diversity of the neighborhoods from beautiful single family homes on large lots to more “urban” homes in gated, low maintenance subdivisions. Most of the people living in these neighborhoods agree that the location is amazing. With great access to the 101 freeway and just minutes from the 60 freeway, people can be to most parts of town very easily. But, even without getting into a car, the neighborhood has a LOT to offer. Stroud Park is very close and it borders a great City of Tempe walking and biking trail which can take people to places like the Ken McDonald golf course and to Kiwanis Park. There is also access to public transportation surrounding the area, with bus stops on McClintock and on Guadalupe Roads.

The neighborhood shopping at McClintock and Guadalupe is very close and residents often walk to the grocery store, restaurants, bookstore, drugstore or any of the MANY area conveniences. In the map below, you will see the neighborhoods, as well as many of the things that make this area such a great place to live. While the map isn’t 100% complete and businesses can change at any time, you should be able to get an idea about living in the Camelot Corner. I’ll try to add to the map and keep it updated as time permits.

View Camelot Corner Tempe AZ in a larger map

I’ll also try to add to the group of photos below. There will be pictures of Camelot Village and of all of the neighborhoods in Camelot Corner. We will also share pictures of Stroud Park and of many of the restaurants and shops in the neighborhood. If you have any questions about living in the area or would like to see any of the homes for sale, please feel free to call Nick Bastian for a tour! Nick can be reached at 602-803-6425.

Click on the photo above to begin the slide show of life in the Camelot Corner.