Newsletter Archive: “Cranes, Planes and Automobiles” Tempe Urban Milieu Issue

“Cranes, Planes and Automobiles” Tempe Urban Milieu Issue

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Monday: Give Thanks For Jazz– Alice Tatum!

US Airways Building
Hayden Flour Mill Renovation
Monti’s Towers 100 S Mill


I am departing from my usual format for a rare and unique instance of sending you more than one message in a short period of time (as you know, I average maybe six messages a year).

HOW TO GET OFF MY LIST INSTANTLY: If you do not want to receive any e-mail from me ever, please send me (Michael Monti) a message at mmonti**@**
and I will gladly remove you from my distribution group. See the end of this
newsletter for more detailed instructions.

What is more symbolic of the urban milieu than Jazz? And here at Monti’s WORLD HEADQUARTERS we are thrilled to support the birth of a budding new Jazz scene Downtown. Please help this fragile effort thrive by coming down this week.

Monday: Give Thanks For Jazz– Alice Tatum!

Here, in its entirety, s the update from Woody, Stu and Roy on
the Jazz scene:
Nov. 19 — The Alice Tatum Quintet
Alice Tatum has been a fixture in the Phoenix music scene for 30 years. To see and hear her with some of the Valley’s best musicians was unforgettable. Like a UFO sighting, she can occasionally be seen around the Valley, but not for long.  As a performer, Alice has played along side such greats as; Michael McDonald, Tom Scott, The Righteous Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Alice Cooper and Nancy Wilson.  She has also worked with producer giant Don Costa as well as entertainers Flip Wilson, Paul Anka and most recently, her summer concert series at the Las Vegas Hilton, with Merv Griffin.  As a recording artist her discography is expansive.

She has national commercials, TV, and film as well as her own three CD Projects. Alice has made her home in Scottsdale and has committed not only her talents but her personal time to many valley charities such as the Arthritis Foundation,
Arizona Foundation for Women, Make a Wish Foundation and others. Alice will be at the Back Door with her quintet, which also includes drummer, Todd Chuba.
Monti’s Back Door is located at 100 S. Mill Avenue (in the back of the building), Tempe, AZ  85283. Cover charge is only $5 and drink specials and complimentary appetizers are available, along with a light dinner menu. Call 480.345.2392 for more information. ”

Now, here are three oft-heard questions in our neck of the woods, lately:

“What’s going on with the old Hayden Mill?”

“What is going on at 3rd and Mill next to Monti’s?”


“What is happening to Monti’s?”

I offer some answers and links to more information.

With respect to the Hayden Mill, Tempe is lucky to have a white knight in the form of Avenue Communities sweep in to save, renovate and expand its most iconic structure. After years of suspense, preparations are being made for Phase I
of the project that will complete the linkage of the East side of the street from University to the Town Lake with offices and mixed retail storefronts right on the street. What has degraded into an eyesore since 1998 will become an
attraction we can all be proud of. More information is available at:

Hayden Mill Layout

“We must find the best way to link Town Lake with downtown and right now the development of the mill and silos can do just that.”
– Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman

Future Mill Renderings:

The next question of the day is about the large construction job going on just to the South of Monti’s, between 3rd Street and our driveway. This project, rising from the “grassy knoll” and the old public surface parking lot, is to be an expansion of the US Airways WORLD HEADQUARTERS campus. Entitled “Tempe Gateway”, it is being built by Opus West.

The eight-story mixed-use project located between Town Lake and the Mill Avenue District shops features 235,000 sq ft office space and 25,000 sq ft of retail.
We at Monti’s look forward to having all these new people on the street, and to having the storefronts continue the pedestrian circulation closer to us from the busier areas to the South. Trust me, having for years been the lone tenant at
the end of the street–the “North Korea of Mill Avenue”–new neighbors and visitors will be welcomed with open arms.

The Opus project also abuts the Light Rail station, creating a new connection for us in Downtown Phoenix. The trains will roll in just over one year from now, with the Grand Opening scheduled for December 2008.

And now, the question and answer we have all been waiting for:

“What is happening to Monti’s?”

In brief (ok, I’m lying, as my wife will tell you I tend to ramble when I’m excited about something–so you are in for a not so brief answer if you continue to read on): It’s business as usual. The historic Hayden House will be entirely
preserved. We want to be here to stay. On the other hand, we also want to be part of Tempe’s future, not just a dinosaur from its past. We have a plan to secure our future in Tempe:

Take a peak at our sketch of the planned development:
Link to 100 South Mill Rendering

I realize that change, sometimes of any sort, upsets some people. But from a business owner’s standpoint please consider the following:

The onslaught of chain restaurants, regulation, increasing food prices and costly maintenance of a very large old building jeopardizes the future of Monti’s. I must redevelop my property so we can not only ensure the future of Monti’s but create a more vibrant connection along Mill to Tempe Beach Park
and the lake. The key to the long-term preservation of La Casa Vieja lies in the
preservation of Monti’s as a restaurant and a public gathering place.

Everything we are doing is consistent with what has happened historically on our corner: As the Hayden pioneer home it was a residence, restaurant, hotel and place of commerce. Our project will revive all of these uses, with  new Hotel Hayden, condos and shops. The increased property and sales tax revenue will help Tempe continue to offer the services and amenities that make for its great quality of life.

Our redevelopment plan is now making its way through the city. It gets the job done. Perhaps most importantly it entirely preserves the 11,000 square foot historic portion of my family’s restaurant in an innovative way. This activity in and along Mill and Town Lake is critical for our future. It has helped Tempe and its taxpayers turn our budgets from deficits into surpluses.

Here are some links to news, comments and viewpoints on our project:

“Michael Monti has made peace with historic
preservationists[…]The new plan leaves the oldest part of the building as it stands today, and won compliments from those who opposed the original plan.”

Valley Tribune

Ron Pies
“I love Monti’s La Casa Vieja and look forward to visiting many times once the development is completed.”

Free-standing Monti’s not in Tempe’s future October 23rd, 2007 ·
posted by Le Templar

And please check my blog from time to time for updates between my very infrequent newsletters:

Thank you for reading. I look forward to a long, continuing relationship with all of my customers and community.


HOW TO GET OFF MY LIST INSTANTLY: If you do not want to
receive any e-mail from me ever, please send me a message at
mmonti**@** and I will gladly remove you from my distribution group. You are receiving this because you know me or are related to me, (you or someone purporting to be you) has given me your business card or filled out a promotional drawing slip, have requested a donation or sent me an e-mail for some other reason, or you gave your address to me on a customer comment card. I do not wish to intrude, and no harsh invective is required to motivate me to remove
you from my list. Just ask. You can also call (480)967-7594 and ask for my PERSONAL voicemail box or f*a*x* (480)967-8129 and leave a message requesting removal (be sure and spell out your e-mail address). 100 S. Mill Ave, Tempe AZ 85281

“We are firmly committed to protecting the privacy of
our customers. We will not share, sell, or otherwise distribute
information of our customers to any other organizations in
any way.”



  1. Tyson Tapaha said,

    I am excited to see Tempe transform into the city of the future, and it also not forgetting about its past. Thats what I think I like most about Tempe and glad to here about the preservation of Monti’s and the Mill. There no doubt that Tempe will oneday be a world class city, and its thanks to the vision of people who will sacrafice historic property to the future vision of Tempe. Hopefully the dispute with US Airways can be resolved, although I don;t really know what their crying about. As a resident just a few blocks to the west, I fully support and welcome the devalopement of Mill Ave District.

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