Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. –W. Clement Stone
n just a couple of years, the long-standingHayden Flour Mill is going to have a new look and new buildings.
Thus is the vision of the development team planning to adapt the historic icon and gateway eyesore into a vibrant urban development for Tempe.
Standing at the intersection of Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue, the five-acre site wrapping around “A” Mountain will be redeveloped into a mixed-use development of restored and new buildings on a plaza from street-side up the mountain.
A team led by Chicago-based Baum Development is awaiting Tempe City Council action Dec. 4 that lets the city manager negotiate a contract to redevelop the site into a hotel, restaurants, retail and amphitheater.
The concept on the table converts the multi-story office building into retail and restaurant use with an expansive outdoor dining area. A new building will bridge the historic office and grain silo creating the hotel support, lobby and amenities component. A new ticketing and concession building is proposed to serve a new stage and amphitheater with covered seating and hillside lawn seating area.
Each of the proposed features responds to specific components the city sought in its request for qualifications – public space, multiple uses, building preservation and creation of an iconic gateway center.
The most-wanted feature the city sought is the amphitheater and public plaza. The 4,000-seat open air facility is hoped to be the last link between the Mill Avenue district and Tempe Town Lake.
Team members, although unwilling to go on the record before the city council action, are excited about the opportunity to adapt the Hayden Flour Mill. Its statement of qualifications and off-the-record comments express enthusiasm for the fun of working with a unique development that has so many challenging constraints.
In their qualification statement, the team says its concept is a “balance of historic and new (in) a design vernacular that will celebrate the Hayden Flour Mill for what it was and what it will be.”
Baum Development has a long list of boutique hotels and adaptive reuse of buildings in its portfolio. Among its projects is the 272,000-square-foot Green Exchange in Chicago. The former 1912 warehouse was converted to a LEED platinum building specifically for green businesses in an eco-friendly setting. More than 20 businesses are sited in the building.
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