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

About Nick Bastian

Nick Bastian is a 26 year veteran of the real estate industry and enjoys his career very much. Nick is always available to "talk shop" with anyone that may have real estate related questions. "Just Call Nick" at 602-803-NICK (6425) - he's glad to help.
Nick can also be found over on the Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog and on Twitter or out and about in the community making friends and having some fun.

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