Tempe's Hayden Flour Mill Could Be Headed for Major Development

The Tempe City Council is set to vote this week on entering into negotiations to develop the historic Hayden Flour Mill.

The companies chosen to enter into these negotiations over the site, led by Baum Development, submitted a proposal that includes some ideas of what they may want to add to the property, including restaurants, a hotel, and a music venue -- while preserving the mill building and silos.

City spokeswoman Nikki Ripley cautions that these are just "early concepts" proposed by the developers, and the city council won't be approving any specific plans at its Thursday meeting.

"We're not looking for a specific proposal at this time," Ripley tells New Times.

See also: -Tempe Rising: The Landlocked College Town Explodes with New Development -Hayden Flour Mill Opens to Public Use After Renovation

If the council approves the move to go into negotiations on Thursday, it can then proceed with figuring out a design, among other details.

That said, the concept submitted to the city includes some pretty radical changes to the iconic mill, which was recently reopened as a public space after being closed off for years.

From the proposal:

"Restaurants, outdoor cafes, galleries, the entry to a new boutique hotel, a new state of the art music venue, and a public plaza are some of the elements that will activate this project's street level. These uses will help to create a vibrant pedestrian street, anchored by the beautiful existing Mill building. A second amenity level, a raised plaza, connects the Mill building with the iconic silos. They will be repurposed to serve as a destination hotel and will anchor a new outdoor music venue. The amphitheater facility has a capacity for over 4,000 patrons. The Tempe Town Lake and the neon lights of the Lightrail bridge will serve as a magnificent backdrop.

"The team looked at multiple options with regard to siting the new elements of the project surrounding the existing mill building and silos. Through this exploration we determine that by placing the music venue into the mountain it would provide, not only a new function but also, augment an existing one by creating an amenity for the hundreds of hikers that visit A mountain on a daily basis."

Baum Development was joined by SmithGroupJJR, a design firm, Aparium Hotel Group, and Sundt Construction in its proposal. The concept design also includes a few aerial images showing how it could be developed:

For people who have been around Tempe a long time, doing something with the mill property is likely an "I'll believe it when I see it" proposition -- there have been several proposals over the years that haven't come to fruition.

"The city has want to develop it for a really long time," Ripley says.

Click here to see the proposal submitted by the developers.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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