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shrek05 Aug 8, 2006 9:44 PM

those renderings of the Mondrian are rather unattractive....

anyone know when the approved faa centerpoint towers 1 and 2 are breaking ground, the 30 story ones?

shrek05 Aug 8, 2006 10:37 PM

Hayden Ferry lands international luxury hotel
European hotel chain Le Meridien is headed to Hayden Ferry Lakeside in Tempe with an expected check-in date of November 2008.

Tuesday's announcement, was made in conjunction with parent company Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Le Meridien Senior Vice President Eva Ziegler said the hotel will be chic, subtle, sophisticated, understated and elegant. "We're about the forward-looking, contemporary style of Europe/France," Ziegler said.

The 183-room, 14-story hotel will include 44 residential units on top of the property with access to Le Meridien amenities.

A joint venture between Valhalla Development Corp., Sierra Hospitality and Adobe Development Partners, the hotel will be operated by APMC. Bent Severin Design, which has designed Westin Tokyo, Sheraton Bahrain and Sherton Warsaw, will join with hotel architects Callison Group of Seattle on the project.

Ziegler said "passion points" for Le Meridien developments are fashion, art, architecture and food. The chain strives for quality and professionalism, he said. "We want to grow our footprint ... in the North American market. We desire the creative guest. The open-minded, forward-looking person who enjoys life."

SunCor Development Co. Hayden Ferry Lakeside is a $160 million, 17-acre, 1.95 million-square-foot master-planned, mixed-use project on the south shore of Tempe Town Lake.

Currently, an eight-story, 209,000-square-foot Class A office building anchored by Smith Barney, and the eight-story, 40-unit condominium Edgewater at Hayden Ferry Lakeside are up and in use. Another office building and the Bridgeview condo project are under way. Two additional condo towers, designed to give the illusion of cruise ships, are planned.

SunCor President and Chief Executive Steven A. Betts said a hotel has been planned at the site from the beginning, pointing out its proximity to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, freeways and various attractions. "We really are the geographic center of the Valley."

The hotel, he said, "is giving Hayden Ferry an international flair." The city's desire for a world-class hotel has long been known. Hayden Ferry received about two dozen, unsolicited hotel proposals. "They were nice, but not quite nice enough ... they didn't have the international flavor and quality we wanted," Betts said.

Earnest money, agreements with the hotel franchise, the developer, management and proper entitlements were in place before the announcement was made Tuesday, said Margaret E. Kirch, SunCor executive vice president for commercial development.

Arizona Office of Tourism Director Margie Emmermann said the hotel fits the state's new brand image: "Inspiring unforgettable Southwest moments."

Le Meridien, she said, allows the state to better compete not only within in the United States, but in the international marketplace. "It gives us enhanced bragging rights," she said. "Visitors want new experiences and great experiences."

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman, who returned to Tempe Aug. 6 after a trip to Russia, called the hotel a "global hitter," adding it marks Tempe and the region a "truly cosmopolitan and global player."

Tempe Councilman Mark Mitchell said the hotel "is a vital component to bringing people to Tempe who might not come otherwise."

Mitchell said Tempe has embraced the new and improved Phoenix Convention Center and sees itself as a regional partner in convention business. "We complement each other. They can do breakout sessions here and vice versa."

Ziegler said she was especially excited by the Tempe site because it is not a conversion and offers a chance for the developer and Le Meridien to define a "flagship" together.

Le Meridien was founded by Air France in 1972 and was acquired by Starwood last November. Starwood also owns The Phoencian, Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa and the soon-to-open W Scottsdale and W Phoenix. Le Meridien has more than 120 properties in 52 countries. Other U.S. hotel locations include Los Angeles, Florida, San Francisco and New York.

Anyone know more details about this hotel? From what I can see, its pretty famous in Europe.

ArtDecoFan Aug 8, 2006 11:10 PM

Starwood's upscale and luxury brands continue to capture market share from competitors by aggressively cultivating new customers while maintaining loyalty among the world’s most active travelers. A Starwood property is an excellent choice for this location.


Le Méridien (luxury and upscale full-service hotels and resorts) is a European brand with a French accent. Each of its hotels, whether city, airport or resort has a distinctive character driven by its individuality and the Le Méridien brand values. With its underlying passion for food, art and style and its classic yet stylish design, Le Méridien offers a unique experience at some of the world's top travel destinations.

BA744PHX Aug 9, 2006 4:11 AM

There is a pic of the hotel on it looks very nice i think.


Originally Posted by shrek05
European hotel chain Le Meridien is headed to Hayden Ferry Lakeside in Tempe with an expected check-in date of November 2008.

PHX31 Aug 9, 2006 5:01 AM

Eh, it could be better. I think the final product will look better than that rendering.

loftlovr Aug 9, 2006 10:36 AM

I think it looks awesome-
Matches the Suncor building's theme well....

oliveurban Aug 9, 2006 11:17 AM

This is good news. Le Meridien is a solid, more contemporary first-class brand. Something of which Tempe has always been lacking.

vertex Aug 11, 2006 6:13 AM

I just wish the city would stop trying to hide the butte....

oliveurban Aug 11, 2006 7:03 AM

^ None of these buildings are covering up the butte, really. If these were 40-story highrises, then that would be a different story. Regardless, I do rather think that this new urban landscape developing around it's base actually enhances it. Creates a very unique setting.

combusean Aug 11, 2006 7:07 AM

^ So that fantastic view from ... what, the 202 can be preserved?

The tallest towers in HFL are 14 stories-that leaves plenty of the mountain in view and flight paths and Tempe's height limits will keep the Butte as the most prominent feature in the skyline.

Centerpoint might be too big in this regard--at its current height it's taller than the mountain and would not be built in Phoenix due to the proximity of the runway.

I'd rather have the views of the city preserved from the mountain, not the other way around.

oliveurban Aug 11, 2006 7:15 AM

The butte is in no danger of being "covered up" by this grouping of 10-14 story buildings, regardless of someone's vantage point - street level, from the 202, atop the butte, etc. That was my only point.

combusean Aug 11, 2006 7:18 AM

^ I was commenting in response to vertex, not you camelback. ;)

oliveurban Aug 11, 2006 7:24 AM

Ah, that makes more sense.

Well then, carry on!

Sekkle Aug 15, 2006 6:24 PM

I was in downtown Tempe this morning and noticed that there is a second tower crane up at the Centerpoint construction site. Just thought I'd mention it. Does anyone know if this is for one of the 30-story towers?

Don B. Aug 15, 2006 11:14 PM

^ Most likely, although I'd be surprised they are starting the second tower this early.

The first tower is 22 stories, and towers 2, 3 and 4 are all supposed to be 30 stories tall. So, if this crane is for the second tower, then it is for a 30-story tower.


Azndragon837 Aug 16, 2006 5:59 AM

^It's actually a boom crane (not a tower crane). From my observation, I believe it is for the 30-story tower.


loftlovr Aug 16, 2006 8:27 AM

Historic Hayden Mill is due face-lift
By Garin Groff, Tribune
August 14, 2006
The developer of the 30-story Centerpoint Condominiums is planning to put its mark on one of downtown Tempe’s most important pieces of history, the Hayden Flour Mill.

Avenue Communities LLC will likely take over redevelopment efforts on a Valley landmark that has sat idle for the past decade.

Len Losch, Avenue Communities principal, said the company plans to renovate the historic mill and build shops nearby within two years.

The proposal, if acted upon, would bring closure to a decadelong effort to revitalize the gateway to downtown Tempe and spruce up an iconic building that has fallen into disrepair and become the subject of a legal dispute.

Tempe recently settled a lawsuit with MCW Holdings, another prominent downtown developer that failed to meet city deadlines to start construction at the mill site. The settlement let MCW continue with the project, but the company instead chose to sell it to Avenue Communities for an undisclosed sum.

Some downtown merchants and city officials hope that the company will move quickly. It has already developed several high-end condo projects and built apartments under the name Trillium Residential.

“Avenue Communities has demonstrated across the Valley that it has the capacity and skill to develop this project,” Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said.

The City Council will decide whether to approve the deal at its Thursday meeting. Avenue must abide by the lawsuit settlement agreement with MCW, including the key provision that the city will become the owner of the property if Avenue doesn’t meet a series of construction deadlines.

The deal would greatly expand Avenue’s presence downtown. The company recently bought McDuffy’s sports bar at Fifth and Ash avenues and will temporarily move its corporate offices there by year’s end. It’s now in the Camelback Corridor in Phoenix.

Avenue Communities also plans to one day build two high-rise condo towers at the McDuffy’s site. The idea is preliminary, Losch said, adding that he couldn’t say how tall the buildings would be or when they would be built.

The company will move its offices to the mill after its reconstruction.

“We want to move our employees down there because we want to give them an authentic sense of place,” Losch said.

At the same time, Losch expects to complete new buildings for retail around the mill. Other phases will come later. Losch said he’ll reveal details about the development’s first phase within weeks.

Merchants and city officials hope the company can make something happen at the mill soon because it’s been a source of community embarrassment in recent years. It needs paint, in part because of black fire marks from when transients broke in and started a blaze.

“The mill is the icon, so it’s got to be resuscitated as soon as possible,” said Michael Monti, owner of Monti’s La Casa Vieja restaurant.

Monti’s is across the street from the mill. The properties are key to Tempe history — both were developed in the early 1870s by Charles Trumbull Hayden. Hayden’s son, Carl, was a congressman and U.S. senator from 1912 to 1969 and is considered one of the most influential Arizonans.

Redeveloping the mill would fulfill a decadeslong goal of continuous development on Mill Avenue to Tempe Town Lake.

Avenue Communities expects to scrap MCW’s plans and come up with its own. Monti said he’s familiar with some of the plans, and that the development would bring excitement to the area.

“They’re not just putting a box on the corner,” he said. “They’re providing glamor and sizzle to get people in the box.”

Sekkle Aug 16, 2006 1:12 PM


^It's actually a boom crane (not a tower crane). From my observation, I believe it is for the 30-story tower.
It looked a lot like a tower crane to me... straight vertical mast, horizontal jib... Tower crane, no?

Azndragon837 Aug 18, 2006 8:12 AM

^Ah, damn, I saw it today and was shocked to see the second tower crane go up for the 30 story Phase 2 of Centerpoint. On Tuesday, it wasn't there, only a boom crane. Wow, they go up FAST! MY bad, hehehe.


Azndragon837 Aug 18, 2006 8:14 AM

Winery, bakery among developer's plans for mill

Jahna Berry
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 17, 2006 12:00 AM

A winery and an Italian-style bakery could join boutiques, non-chain shops and mid-rise condos by the Hayden Flour Mill site.

Avenue Communities tonight will seek city approval of an agreement that would transfer the flour mill project from MCW Holdings to Avenue.

Avenue's proposal is the latest vision for the area by the mill, and the historical mill silos would be preserved under the deal.

Development around the mill long has been considered a lynchpin for linking Mill Avenue with Tempe Town Lake.

The land has the potential to be a high profile development that also connects Tempe's past to an innovative cluster of shops and condos, said Ken Losch principal for Avenue Communities.

"The mill site is the most interesting property in the whole Valley," Losch said.

He said Avenue Communities bought MCW's development agreement for an undisclosed sum about two weeks ago and now is developing the mill-area site.

The prospective winery would partner Avenue with Signorello Vineyards in Napa Valley and John Burtner, a master winemaker, Losch said. The winery plans to temporarily set up shop at 48th Street and University Drive and plans to produce 150 barrels of wine this year, he said. The temporary winery is not open to the public.

For the flour mill project, Avenue wants to add shops that "can bring in sophistication but retains that bohemian feel," Losch said.

Although Avenue's planned 30-story Centerpoint project has made the developer's name synonymous with height, Losch said that the condo development by the mill would probably be eight- to 16- stories tall, or in the 120- to 130-foot range.

The mill's vintage silos are around 153 feet tall, said city planner Chris Messer.

MCW Holdings is walking away from the flour mill weeks after it removed a major legal hurdle that blocked development near the 1918 mill and its iconic 1950s silos.

In June, MCW Holdings put to rest litigation that sprung from a legal dispute with Tempe about an $11.8 million bank loan.

Under the terms of the deal, MCW agreed to purchase the flour mill site from Tempe, after several conditions were met, for $7.4 million. Tempe agreed to pay $6 million toward preserving the flour mill and silos. Tempe planned to credit the developer for $7.1 million in infrastructure costs, when MCW pulled permits for the flour mill development.

The agreement also had a clause that allowed MCW to "assign" the project to another developer.

Essentially, the agreement still stands, but Avenue has taken over MCW's role, Losch said.

Before the MCW and Avenue Communities deal became public, it was widely known that Avenue was one of a handful of firms jockeying to develop the Hayden Flour Mill. Avenue also provided some input during negotiations between MCW and Tempe city officials, Losch said.

The City Council also tonight will address other key issues, including:

• The final public hearing for the University Square project. The council's vote on development rights for the project, which would take up an entire square block.

• The first public hearing for a zoning change that would make way for an eight-story, 100-unit condominium project northeast of Apache Boulevard and Rural Road. The final vote is Sept. 7.



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