Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monti's project redesign wins Tempe Historic Commission support

[Source: Katie Nelson, Arizona Republic] -- Tempe's Historic Preservation Commission whole-heartedly backed a redevelopment plan for the historic Hayden home-turned-Monti's La Casa Vieja steakhouse Thursday night, after vehemently trashing previous designs and sending the developer "back to the drawing board" only weeks before. "The new plan not only recognizes, but further honors this historic building," said Ann Patterson, who was one of the commission's most outspoken opponents of the previous version.

Tony Wall,an Ohio transplant who is developing the University Square site off University Drive and Forest Avenue, is also seeking to develop the historic Monti's site into a pair of high rises. The steak restaurant sits inside the Hayden house, a structure built by Tempe's Anglo founder, Charles Trumbull Hayden. The adobe structure is now regarded as one of the Valley's oldest buildings. The first versions of Wall's architectural drawings put one of the proposed multi-use towers on top of the Hayden House. This concept displeased the commission, which is charged with protecting Tempe's historic sites. The newest rendition puts the towers just south of the old restaurant. Now that the "One Hundred Mill Avenue" project has the blessing of the preservation commission, the conceptual plan will undergo scrutiny by the Development Review Commission and the City Council in the coming weeks.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Monti's.]