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City of Tempe to take ownership of historic Hayden House, restore it

Post Date:09/04/2018 9:00 AM
The City of Tempe will own one of the most beloved and historic properties in Arizona and be able to preserve it for future generations.  A development agreement passed by Tempe City Council on Aug. 30 deeds the historic Hayden House to the City of Tempe, requires the developer to rehabilitate the house at no cost to the city and fund $100,000 for operations and maintenance. 

“With this one project, the City of Tempe can preserve the historic Hayden House, create jobs and allow public access to the birthplace of our community. This is a momentous historic opportunity,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said.  


Hayden House is the former home of Charles Trumbull Hayden, the founder of modern day Tempe. Built in 1873, it was the oldest continuously occupied structure in the Valley when it was sold by for development about three years ago by the owners of Monti’s La Casa Vieja restaurant. The City of Tempe had no involvement in that sale.   

The Tempe City Council voted on Thursday to amend a development agreement with Hensel Phelps for a mixed-use development project on the 2.5-acre property at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue. Hayden House is part of that parcel. 
Working hand in hand with Tempe’s Historic Preservation Office and the Tempe Historic Preservation Commission, Hensel Phelps is restoring Hayden House to the period of its historical significance, as it was from 1873-1924. This work must be completed before any new construction can begin. 

Rehabilitation is underway on the Hayden House now. Adobe Technology is in the process of making new adobe bricks to replace those that have been damaged over time. The work is being done much in the same way that people in 1873 would have doing it. There's no air conditioning in the building. No electricity being used. The adobe is made by hand using hand tools.

The original adobe was tested for its composition to ensure suitable materials would be used to create the new bricks. Reggie Mackay, owner of Adobe Technology found mud that is a perfect match just a couple of miles away. This will result in longer-lasting bricks and a more stable structure. 

Adobe buildings are an important part of Tempe’s heritage. The City of Tempe has successfully rehabilitated several adobe historic buildings, such as Rose Eisendrath House and Sandra Day O’Connor House. This work has opened these beautiful buildings for public use for events, meetings and more. See an interactive map showing many of our adobe resources at: 

City of Tempe residents will benefit from development associated with this project through new jobs, new businesses as well as historic preservation.

The intersection of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway has been named one of the hottest real estate intersections for in Arizona by Urban Land Institute because of the proximity of Tempe Town Lake, downtown Tempe, light rail, ASU and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Hayden House is on the southwest corner of this intersection. 

Hensel Phelps is planning to build 258,000 sq ft of commercial office and 10,000 sq ft of retail. This will bring new jobs and new investment to the City of Tempe. A hotel or residential component is in the planning stage. There is no determination of square footage for this yet.

The development agreement calls for the office and hotel components to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022.  The developer, as part of this agreement, would contribute to the building of the Tempe Streetcar and will donate $100,000 to the Tempe Unified High School District Foundation and the Tempe Impact Education Foundation. 

An 8-year GPLET is part of this plan. This GPLET is an incentive for the developer to protect the Hayden House. Should anything happen to the Hayden House due to the developer’s actions, the agreement with the city could become null and void and all incentives would be lost.     

The Hayden House was added to Tempe’s Historic Property Register in 2000. Read more about the house: 

People will not be able to go into Hayden House during construction for liability reasons.  

City of Tempe Contact:
Kris Baxter-Ging

hayden house web
Historic Hayden House - photo courtesy Tempe Historic Preservation Office 
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