Plans for Tempe streetcar, Hayden Flour Mill move ahead


PHOENIX — The city of Tempe is moving forward on two downtown projects, each in a different stage of development but both highly anticipated — a streetcar and a big renovation.

The City Council will hear an update on the streetcar system at Thursday’s issue review meeting. That project was expected to cost more than was initially estimated, but no figure was given in publicly-filed paperwork.

A memo from the Public Works Department stated that staff and Valley Metro were looking for ways to keep costs down.

But the growing number “reflects a trend for transportation projects throughout the country experiencing significantly higher costs,” the memo read. No updated figure was mentioned in the document.

When construction of the 3-mile, 14-station streetcar system was approved in 2013, capital costs had a ballpark figure of $175 million-$190 million.

(Valley Metro Graphic)

The city of Tempe has received a $50 million grant from the federal government in May for construction.

Target completion for the rail was 2020.

The streetcar would roll by the other project, the redevelopment of the iconic Hayden Flour Mill.

The Development Review Commission OK’d amendment requests for the mill venture that included the general plan.

Arizona Builder’s Exchange reported in November that the first phase of the plan focused on restoration and renovation of the historic structure on Mill Avenue near Rio Salado Parkway.

The makeover would include a restaurant and a hotel.