Where there is water, people will come.
Groundbreaking for Hayden Ferry Lakeside was on April 18, 2001 in Tempe, Arizona. Hayden Ferry Lakeside is a commercial development project that was constructed along the shore of the Tempe Town Lake. The man-made lake, which was completed in the summer of 1999, was created in hopes of bringing more business and development into downtown Tempe. The project included office space, restaurants, retail spaces, and living space. The City of Tempe was hopeful that this new development would attract more companies into the area. With its convenient location right by downtown Tempe and just overlooking the new lucrative Tempe Town Lake, the City of Tempe was also anticipating more people to move into the area. Hayden Ferry Lakeside was the first commercial project on the new town lake, but was soon followed by other development projects such as Marina Heights, the new home of State Farm. City officials were also hopeful that this development project would spur more community based projects around the lake as well. Their vision would become reality as a Town Lake Marina was later constructed and opened in the summer of 2002 and a Tempe Center for the Arts was opened in September of 2007.
It is no coincidence that Hayden Ferry Lakeside is named what it is named; it seems to be homage to the original name of Tempe. When what is present-day Tempe was first founded in 1872, it was called ‘Hayden’s Ferry.’ This is likely named for Charles T. Hayden who first visited the region in 1868 and later settled in the area in 1871. He became a prominent citizen of the town and later created the famed Hayden Flour Mill. ‘Hayden’s Ferry’ was renamed ‘Tempe’ in 1879.
Hayden Ferry Lakeside is quite the swanky development project; most likely not aimed at the debt-ridden college students of the local Arizona State University campus in Tempe. For example, Edgewater Condominiums at Hayden Ferry Lakeside has many desirable features and amenities. The condo boasts gourmet kitchens, granite slab countertops, state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances, natural gas fireplaces, walk-in closets, and private balconies/courtyards. The website for the condo also brags about their full time door attendant, an upscale social lounge, a heated pool and spa, an outdoor barbeque, a ritzy fitness center, a library and conference room with a fireplace, and a private underground parking garage. The condo units are also designed with massive panoramic windows for stunning views of the Tempe Town Lake and a breathtaking mountainous backdrop.
Phase one of the Hayden Ferry Lakeside development project was completed in 2002 and phase two was completed in 2007. Phase three was started in the spring of 2014 and completed in the fall of 2015. As of the beginning of 2014, the Hayden Ferry Lakeside commercial buildings are 98 percent leased. The Hayden Ferry Lakeside development covers 17 acres and it spans the south side of Tempe Town Lake, from Mill Avenue to Rural Road. Overall it cost roughly 250-300 million dollars to develop the entire commercial project. The Hayden Ferry Lakeside development includes a 2,500-space parking garage to accommodate workers and shoppers in the area. It is a much needed addition to the area as parking in downtown Tempe in no easy task.
The general contractors for the Hayden Ferry Lakeside development, SunCor and McCarthy, moved their headquarters from Phoenix to Hayden Ferry Lakeside. This seems to have become a common action, as there has been a recent trend for companies to move out of Phoenix and into Valley suburbs. While this has started to become a little bit of a problem for Phoenix, this greatly benefits Valley suburbs such as Tempe; and I think it is safe to argue that one of the main reasons for Tempe developing the Hayden Ferry Lakeside commercial buildings was to attract big companies into the area. Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell made his goals for the Hayden Ferry Lakeside development project quite clear when he stated, “The entire complex represents the many dreams that residents and city leaders had when Tempe Town Lake was first conceived and built. This is the type of well-designed, multi-use development we had envisioned and it will stand the test of time.”