By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
The first phase of the long-awaited Hayden Flour Mill Redevelopment project moved another step closer to fruition last month after gaining approvals for several components from Tempe’s Development Review Commission.
In its Oct. 24 meeting, DRC approved Iconic Mill, LLC’s requests for Zoning Map Amendment, Amended Planned Area Development Overlay, Development Plan Review and Use Permit.
The mill, one of Tempe’s most iconic structures, was originally built in 1918 and is the city’s oldest cast in place reinforced concrete building, according to commission staff comments. Tempe signed a 99-year lease agreement in May, 2016 to redevelop the property into a retail and entertainment hub while retaining the mill building’s historic character.
Phase 1 of the plan calls for restoring and renovating the mill building to accommodate 14.2KSF of office space and creating a one-story, 8.4KSF restaurant addition with 2KSF of outdoor seating. In a subsequent Phase II, the grain elevators will be restored and a new hotel constructed. Phase II will require an amendment to the Planned Area Development.
A new west addition will be glass and steel and is intended to tie the site more closely to existing developments along Mill Avenue. “Using industrial inspired materials and transparency allows the addition to become less obtrusive to the street but rather engage Mill Avenue while recalling the past and allowing views of the Mill Building,” the report states, “The materials are intentionally different from the historic building.”
Earlier in October, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission issued a Certificate of Appropriateness for the Phase I components.
In reviewing the addition and renovation components, DRC staff noted the concrete block room additions on top of the mill building will be retained, as will the historic door and window openings, including restoring openings that had previously been infilled.
Landscaping for the site will take inspiration from nearby Hayden Butte and incorporate many of the same native desert plants, along with adding shade trees, desert landscaping and turf to encourage use of outdoor gathering spaces along Mill Avenue. In addition to creating an outdoor multipurpose and entertainment area at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill, the reconstruction program will also create a path and trailhead to Hayden Butte and establish a public exhibit space to showcase the history of the mill and the surrounding area.
Iconic Mill, LLC is a partnership between Baum Revision, LLC and Aparium Hotel Group. In its submittals, Baum claims a property portfolio of approximately $143M, with more than 1MSF across 40 projects. Aparium, which specializes in one-of-a-kind hotel spaces across the country, will oversee the Phase 2 development.
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