Mill Avenue Becoming More as Downtown Tempe

Mill Avenue: It is known far and wide by people of all walks of life. The iconic street has seen ups and downs, good times, more good times and even some bad times. It has history and it has a bright future.

Here in Tempe, there’s always a ton of talk about what is happening “on Mill.” There’s no explanation needed, there are no directions to be given if you say you are going to a bar, restaurant, shop or event on Mill. EVERYONE knows exactly what you are talking about.

While some might not be huge fans of Mill Avenue and people in south Tempe whine about north Tempe getting all of the attention, resources and favor of our leaders, the reality is, the economic engine that is ( or was ) the Mill Avenue District paves the way for more growth in the city and in the region.

Last night, we heard city leaders talk about plans and the vision to re-brand the Mill Avenue District. A new logo, new marketing blitz and a fancy new web site have been put in place to tell people about Downtown Tempe. No longer will they market the Mill Avenue District. The future is all about the larger area of Downtown Tempe. They have been using the #TempeRising tag on all of the major social sites for you to follow along.

Recently, we’ve seen some activity east of Mill Avenue where the House of Trick’s has been rocking it before anyone else really could. Some of this development may be in anticipation of the massive plans that ASU has for the area. For years there has also been talk of stretching the Mill Avenue District west over to the Farmer Arts District, but that has been SLOW coming. Sam Fox and a few others hope to change that as they open the super-cool Culinary Dropout at the Yard in Tempe. Fox restaurants is making an $11 million investment in getting people to come to the “other side of the tracks” west of Mill Avenue. The new venue opens next month joining The Madison and Over Easy. The Madison is a spin and yoga studio that is already open, and Over Easy is another great breakfast addition to the area that opens later this year. The venue will also have The Coop and The Showcase Room as places to hold special events.

Change is coming:

Like it or not, there’s a ton of change coming to the Downtown Tempe area. Thousands of new jobs are being added, BILLIONS of dollars are being invested in and around the area, and we’ll soon see a ton of new residents looking to enjoy the valley’s most urban lifestyle. The new Marina Heights and USA Place will certainly have an impact on Downtown Tempe, but they aren’t alone. We’ve seen a lot of other investment large and small. Soon our past will make way for other future projects. I shot this photo recently of a crane flying in the air near Monti’s La Casa Vieja. I thought it was a bit ironic since the famed restaurant has recently been sold, and cranes will soon be circling the air at 100 S Mill Avenue, where this historic building has stood for a VERY long time. Yes, part of the building is being preserved, but the future site will have some big shiny new additions.

Crane at Monti's

So, Mill Avenue is the new Downtown Tempe. 40 is the new 30 and life goes on. Call it what you want, change is constant and we’ll be watching. What do you think about re-branding of the new Downtown Tempe?

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.

Tempe Looking To Speed Things Up

Remember the Google Fiber effort from last year? Of course you do. While the big GOOG made the wrong decision by choosing a city other than Tempe, the chase for speed in our region is far from over! Check out these details below from the City of Tempe.

Tempe and 28 communities, universities launch ultra high-speed network effort

A group of 29 universities and communities across the country, including the City of Tempe and Arizona State University, are seeking to accelerate the deployment of ultra high-speed networks to stimulate innovation and research through a new venture, Gig U.

Gig U: The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project believes that improvements to these networks drive economic growth and stimulate a new generation of solutions addressing critical needs, such as health care and education.

[Read more…]

Like, You Should Totally Like This

So, the City of Tempe has started a new campaign to raise awareness and to get more people to Like their page on Facebook.

According to the press release below, you and I can win cool stuff just because you “Like” the City of Tempe. How cool is that!?! Once you like them, just tell them that Nick said you would find cool stuff on their page. In a way, we both get brownie points. Hey, my kids LOVE the water and if I help get the most likes, I get to take them boating on Tempe Town Lake. Seriously, my boys LOVE Tempe Town lake, they DESERVE to win this dang contest. You won’t let them down, will you?

Mexico 2011 from City of Tempe

Here’s the scoop from Tempe.

2,011 in 2011 Facebook contest starts on Social Media Day

In celebration of Social Media Day, the City of Tempe is hosting a contest – and you can win a free boat ride on Town Lake and concert tickets!

[Read more…]

Casino Capers – Tempe Diablos Know How To Party

The Tempe Diablos have been doing GREAT things in Tempe for over 40 years. I vividly remember stories from when I was a little kid living in Tempe of my uncle telling us about the organization he has been a part of since longer than I can remember. To be clear, Casino Capers is about MUCH more than just a GREAT party. It’s about changing the lives of people in our community.

Members of the Diablos devote their time and energy to the youth of Tempe by promoting, organizing and supporting community-based programs.” – Tempe Diablos

Tonight is the annual Casino Capers fundraising event that has become a “can’t miss” for many people. If you want to have a LOT of fun, eat some great food, and hang with some of the “cool kids” in the neighborhood, you need to have this annual event on your radar. The 2014 Casino Capers event is really something you should come and see for yourself.

Casino Capers with the Tempe Diablos

Tickets for Casino Capers are just $250.00 per couple. I can assure you, it is money well spent. This event is top notch, the silent and live auctions are something you don’t want to miss. Please don’t let my wife bid on a “cute” puppy this year!

Give back to our great city, have some fun, and meet some great people.

Casino Capers with the Tempe Diablos 2010

Michael Monti, Jack Smith, Jim Mack and Nick Bastian – 2010 Casino Capers.

Casino Capers at Tempe Diablo Stadium

2200 West Alameda Drive

Tempe, AZ 85282

Casino Capers will be held at the Tempe Diablo Stadium again this year. Yeah, some of the other venues they’ve used in the past are not so spread out but this works ok. d I suppose I won’t complain about it being outdoors and having to walk so far from one end to another. 🙂

Lori and I hope to see you there!

*sorry for the blurry pics, they are the only ones I have from years past. Maybe I can do better this time. 🙂 *