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Tempe's historic Hayden Flour Mill could turn into a hub for shopping & dining

Tempe City Council has entered into negotiations with two developers, Sunbelt Holdings and Venue Projects, to make this vision a reality.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Tempe City Council entered into negotiations with Sunbelt Holdings and Venue Projects a few weeks ago to redevelop the Hayden Flour Mill and its five-acre property with commercial opportunities, open space, historic features and more. 

Hayden Flour Mills' history dates back to the 1870's, but it hasn't been in use since 1998.

It's been collecting dust with graffiti covering it for the past two decades. The City of Tempe wants to change that, but there have been failed attempts in the past. 

"Council realized something needed to be done and there have been a couple projects tried before for this site that both didn’t work out," Tempe Mayor Corey Woods explained. "The last project, it was a very ambitious project with a hotel in the silos and an amphitheater that came out of the side of the building with a five acre site, so it's not huge, and there's a lot of historic integrity that needs to be maintained."

Mayor Woods said he believes this proposed project will stick because it's more realistic. 

"For years we’ve talked about trying to find some way to rejuvenate and revitalize this iconic structure in our city and we’re really excited that a few weeks back we were able to enter into a partnership with Venue Projects and Sunbelt Holdings to really redo this five acre site."

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: El histórico Hayden Flour Mill de Tempe podría convertirse en un centro comercial y contar con restaurantes

Credit: City of Tempe

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Maintaining the historical integrity of it is of the utmost importance so the mill and silos would stay with new, smaller buildings surrounding it. 

"We really want to keep with the historic traditions of what this is all about, but at the same time, breathe new life into it and making it a space that can be utilized for restaurants and retail, start-up businesses, event space for people who want to have a party or maybe get married here."

Negotiating a development agreement is the first step toward beginning a project. Once that is accomplished, the project team will work on plans for the property that will go to several city boards and commissions and eventually, Tempe City Council. 

Development could take several years. 

"This is also sacred land to our indigenous tribes as well so we’re working actively with them to make sure whatever we do is respectful of the sacred land we’re currently on," he added.

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