Ty Utton, chair of the Historic Preservation Department at Rose Law Group, comments on Tempe seeking developer for historic mixed-use

Photo via City of Tempe

By City of Tempe | AZBEX

The City of Tempe and Tempe Sister Cities are working together to build housing, a boutique hotel, and a new event space in downtown Tempe – all while ensuring the historic Hackett House is protected and maintained.

The historic 1888 Hackett House at Fourth Street and Mill Avenue is one of Tempe’s iconic buildings. It’s been the home to Tempe Sister Cities for decades. However, the organization needs more space and a more modern commercial kitchen for its activities. Recognizing an opportunity, the City of Tempe and Tempe Sister Cities came together to craft a plan to maintain the historic Hackett House, create the space it needs and provide amenities for the community.  This is a win-win for both the City of Tempe and Tempe Sister Cities.

Tempe Sister Cities offers exchange programs to Tempe’s 11 sister cities for students, teachers and professionals. The group has sent hundreds of people to build cultural bridges around the world. The organization also hosts cultural dinners, high teas, cooking demonstrations and other events. Tempe Sister Cities is also well known for hosting the annual Oktoberfest celebration held in October, which helps fund their exchange programs.

The City of Tempe owns the Hackett House and the .34 acres that serve as parking and tented event space. Setting aside and protecting the house, the City is issuing a Request for Proposals to find creative ideas to transform the remaining property into residential units and an amenitized hotel. This includes the ability for Tempe Sister Cities to use office space and have access to a 3.5KSF event space and a new commercial kitchen.


“The City of Tempe’s RFP is a great opportunity for a public-private partnership to preserve two of the city’s historic properties while creating much needed housing in the core of downtown. This is precisely the kind of activity Rose Law Group’s Historic Preservation Department was launched to help with,” said Ty Utton, Chair of the Historic Preservation Department at Rose Law Group. “We can advise on creating the most optimal application, assist through the entire entitlement and permitting process, and celebrate the preservation of these truly remarkable historic property.”

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July 2024