Downtown Tempe, Arizona
(Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

Release Date: Friday, June 10th 2011

New plans developed for Hayden Flour Mill

By Katherine Torres - statepress.com  (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

The Tempe City Council voted to approve plans to improve the site of the Hayden Flour Mill and turn it into an event venue at its meeting Thursday night.

The rejuvenation project includes plans to remove fencing around the mill, paint the mill, and landscape and light the area around it, according to a press release from the City of Tempe.

The buildings that make up the flour mill will still be closed to the public after the project is complete.

The improvement plan will be carried out through a partnership with downtown Tempe and the Rio Salado Foundation, according to the press release.

The Rio Salado Foundation is a nonprofit company that works to preserve the areas surrounding Papago Park and the Rio Salado. Tempe mayor Hugh Hallman is the current president of the organization.

Psychology senior Jessica Fitzgibbons said she feels the flour mill is a “piece of history.”

“I love that thing,” she said. “That’s how Mill got its name.”

The Hayden Flour Mill is located on the corner of Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue, on the west side of Hayden Butte, or “A Mountain.”

The flour mill is owned by the City of Tempe and has dated back to 1918. It has been fenced off due to safety reasons since 1998.

The planned rejuvenation project is similar to others that Tempe has completed in the past. Other projects include the Urban Garden that is located on Fifth Street and Forest Avenue and MADCAP Theaters off of Mill Avenue and Sixth Street.

Fitzgibbons said that although the flour mill could be worked around, that an event venue might not “fit in.”

“It’s a factory,” she said.

Funds for the project have been provided in part by private contributions and through the Rio Salado Foundation.

According to city officials, the project is a temporary plan for the flour mill until something more permanent can be done to the area.

If the project goes according to plan, the grounds of the Hayden Flour Mill will be open to the public by October of 2011.