Kerry Fetherston Selected as 2013 Don Carlos Humanitarian of the Year

Tempe Community Council (TCC) is pleased to announce that Kerry Fetherston of Tempe will receive the 2013 Don Carlos Humanitarian Award on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. Kerry was selected out of nine impressive nominees for her community impact, behind-the scenes efforts and impressive resume at such a young age.  Additional honors will be presented to local philanthropists and volunteers who work every day to provide a high quality of life for all in Tempe. The public is welcome to attend this community event. Reservations are required and tickets are $50 per person, $80 for two tickets or $400 for a table of ten. More information is available from the TCC website or by calling 480.858.2300.

Produced annually by TCC, the Don Carlos Humanitarian Award is considered one of Tempe’s most prestigious distinctions, and honors those individuals who give back selflessly to our community. Kerry will be recognized for her can-do attitude, her contagious spirit and for inspiring others to commit to positive change. Kerry is past president of Kiwanis Club of Tempe, where she actively supported efforts like the Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, back to school shopping with Boys & Girls Club kids and the Fantasy of Lights Parade. For several years, she was the machine behind the Mayor’s Run and helped that event raised about $1.2 million for local charities. Kerry worked for Mill Avenue Merchant’s Association, Tempe Family Y, Fresh Start and Alzheimer’s Association.

Tragically, Kerry suffered a debilitating stroke in December of 2011. Her spirit and positive attitude through her rehabilitation have inspired a whole new group of people, and have reenergized her friends and colleagues to take up her torch. 2007 Don Carlos winner, Linda Spears, notes, “Kerry truly exemplifies all that is great about living in Tempe. An ordinary person, doing extraordinary things by joining with neighbors and friends to make life a little easier for others is the essence of the humanitarian effort”.

Don Carlos is a signature Tempe event that brings together the entire community to celebrate those who have dedicated their lives to giving back and serving people.  The award is named for Tempe’s pioneer founder Charles Trumbull Hayden who spent his life looking for ways to improve the lives of others.  The Don Carlos Humanitarian Award is special because it embodies Hayden’s legacy and spirit.  Kerry Fetherston joins an illustrious list of other Don Carlos Humanitarian recipients including: Dr. William Payne, Leonard Monti, Sr., Margaret & William Kajikawa, Jinnett B. Kirk, Peggy Bryant, Eliza Carney, Naomi Harward, Mimi & Mac Bohlman, Virginia Tinsley, Betty & John Waters, Pat Hatton, Lawn Griffiths, Rudy Campbell, Bobbie & George Overby, Sue & Bob Lofgren, Carol E. Smith, Sue Searcy, Zita Johnson, Bobbie & Don Cassano, David B. Cutty, Joseph Spracale, Jane & Dick Neuheisel, Gail Fisher & Mel Kessler, Linda Spears, Pen Johnson, Sue Ringler, Catherine May & Dan Abbott, Alice & Ralph Goitia and Harry E. Mitchell.

ASU’s Block 12 Development and New Businesses

Block 12 Development Adds to Downtown

Arizona State University has announced the development of Block 12, a multi-story, mixed-use development located on College Avenue, between 6th and 7th Streets. Breaking ground this year, Block 12 brings five stories of classroom, office, and retail space, including a new student bookstore, to the heart of Downtown Tempe. With pedestrian friendly storefronts and student activity, Block 12 will help connect the campus to Mill Avenue by filling vacant land owned by the university.

Fronting 7th St., the ground level of the building will house an outdoor shaded events space as well as a retail component including the new student bookstore. This new bookstore will compliment the current ASU campus bookstore by providing an easily accessible alternative with easier parking for students. It is also more convenient for students taking classes on the northern end of the university. The bookstore will join with additional retail and restaurant uses to fill out both the ground and second levels. The third floor of the building will house collaborative learning spaces for students to drop in and work when needed as well as ASU Administration Offices. The fourth and fifth floor will be dedicated to the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.

Block 12 is situated in an ideal location for student use. Within a few blocks, students can visit the entertainment options of Mill Avenue to the west, the Tempe Transit Center & light rail stop to the north, Sun Devil Stadium to the east, and Arizona State University Campus to the south.

Block 12 is scheduled for completion in December 2013.

Welcome to the Neighborhood

699 S. Mill AveJoin us in welcoming SourceOne Dental to the Mill Avenue District. The company has recently occupied a 1,200 sq. ft. suite at the Brickyards on the Mill. The Mill Avenue office space is the home base for SourceOne, who operates an e-commerce site selling wholesale to professionals in the dental field.

Coming Soon to Downtown Tempe

World of Beer
With construction moving forward, World of Beer will be joining the bars and restaurants on Mill Avenue. Taking just over 3,700 sq. ft. on the north west corner of 6th Street and Mill Avenue, World of Beer will be open for patrons to watch sports, live entertainment, hang out, and sample over 500 beers from around the globe. While the bar doesn’t serve food, World of Beer supports the Mill Avenue District restaurants by welcoming takeout service for hungry patrons. This will be World of Beer’s 26th location, and its first location west of Texas.

Milk And Honey
Construction has started on Milk and Honey, a “grab your West 6thbasics” market set to open this fall in the ground floor of West Sixth. When completed, Milk and Honey will take 2,292 sq. ft. and will begin to satisfy the ever-growing need for a grocery store in the Mill Avenue District.

Dr. Tattoff Laser Tattoo and Hair Removal
100 W. UniversityAlso anticipating a fall opening is the Dr. Tattoff Laser Tattoo and Hair Removal Clinic. The clinic will occupy a 2,300 sq. ft. retail space at Centerpoint on Mill, just south of 7th Street. Dr. Tattoff specializes in both tattoo removal and laser hair removal by appointment. Tattoff’s Clinics are known nationwide for their results and skill, with locations already in six cities throughout California and Texas. The Clinic is projected to open in September of 2012.

Fore more information, visit

Downtown Tempe Office Space is Filling Fast

The Mill Avenue District has recently created quite a buzz around the Valley Hayden Ferry Lakesideregarding new office tenants. This week has seen an influx of headlines outlining Downtown Tempe’s call for new office building development to support the amount of offices locating to the area. According to information released by the City of Tempe, high rise office space in the Mill Avenue District is nearly full. This includes the two towers at Hayden Ferry Lakeside which combined have reached 94% capacity.  Most recently, Ryan Companies and Sunbelt Holdings announced they will build a new 10-story high rise at Hayden Ferry Lakeside to meet demand for class-A space.

This being said, office tenants don’t have to wait for a new building before they can join us in the Mill Avenue District. Opportunities for space still exist at the new Gateway Building, Centerpoint on Mill, Hayden Station, and in some of our historic buildings. All of these workplaces are walking distance from light rail and have plenty of parking nearby.


New Leases 

The great news of our low office vacancy rates comes hot on the heels of a number of new leases being signed throughout Downtown Tempe. Some of the new tenants we will be seeing coming to the Mill Avenue District include the technology firms Statera and Xhibit, Silicon Valley Bank, and Allstate Insurance. This is in addition to the recent acquisitions of Waste Management, Limelight Networks, and Microsoft among many others.

Over the last few years, retail vacancy has made considerable improvement as well. Since April 2009, the amount of occupied retail and restaurant space in Downtown
Tempe increased nearly 12% demonstrating the popularity of Mill Avenue as an entertainment destination. Among the newest leases are Vivaldi Salon Suites and a small market at the West 6th apartment towers, the athletic store TriSports located in the Gateway building, and Rita’s Ice at Centerpoint on Mill. All should be opening during the summer of 2012.

Mill Avenue District

Red and black Mill Avenue District signs can be spotted as you walk along the popular path of Mill Avenue, but have you ever wondered what this organization actually does?

Basically, the Mill Avenue District’s job is to create the experience when people are in Tempe – they create the environment to give people a good time downtown.

The Mill Avenue District is an enhanced service district that has a team of ambassadors, usually seen wearing red polo shirts around town. Their jobs include cleaning, landscaping, emptying trash cans and other tasks that bring Mill Avenue’s standards to a level that the community is proud of and tourists can enjoy.

I’ve seen the red-shirted ambassadors busy at work on Mill Avenue, watering plants, replacing signs and cleaning throughout the day.

Employee Wann Sierra said he, "likes his job because it's something different every day."

Nancy Hormann, president and executive director of the Downtown Tempe Community said, “We have what’s called a “Clean Team”- people who are out on the streets cleaning all the time, emptying garbage, etc. The City does it once a day in the morning, but for the remainder of the day, we take over that responsibility,” Hormann said.

Many cities also have enhanced services districts, like the downtown areas of Chandler, Phoenix and Mesa. Currently, Glendale and Flagstaff are both exploring similar ideas in their areas. The term “enhanced services” really means that the Mill Avenue District takes over the maintenance and care of Mill Avenue, where the City of Tempe ends their services.

“It’s typical in every major city across the U.S. They’re called different things in different states. Some are called business improvement districts, city improvement districts, enhanced services districts, but they’re all exactly the same thing,” Hormann said.

The Mill Avenue District receives its funding from local property owners, who voted to tax themselves for this specific purpose, but is actually employed by the Downtown Tempe Community. The DTC is a non-profit organization that works with the City of Tempe and downtown stakeholders.

“The property owners pay into this district in order to provide services that go above and beyond what the city already does, but the City [of Tempe] will not reduce their services because we are adding services,” Hormann said. “So we just have a higher level services here – more cleaning, landscaping and safety.”

In recent months, a safety team has been added to the area. The Safe-T-Patrol Guides, can be spotted wearing bright yellow polo shirts and may be patrolling around town on foot or by bicycle. The Safe-T-Patrol Guides act as goodwill ambassadors that welcome visitors, provide directions or a safety escort and can give recommendations of where to go in Downtown Tempe. You might also notice the Safe-T-Patrol in the park at Tempe Town Lake. Their territory also extends to the park, in order to be more helpful to Tempe visitors and provide a sense of visual security.

You might have also noticed the addition of credit card enabled parking meters in Tempe, which has made it easier for visitors to find parking – especially when they are all out of quarters. This action, by the Mill Avenue District, was in hopes to better accommodate customers in their downtown Tempe experience.

Hormann said, “It’s fabulous, but it’s not a money-maker. It’s about convenience and customer service and we are trying to expand on that.”

Credit card parking meters

Since the program began, there has been a positive response to the credit card parking meters and one could only image that convenient parking would lead to happier customers and more business on Mill Avenue.

The Mill Avenue District also manages parking garages and lots in Tempe. I learned that sometimes when you need to park for an extended period of time, it’s better to use a parking garage than a meter with time restrictions.

“We want to encourage people, if they are coming for longer periods of time, to park in parking lots or parking structures because you have a short window of time on the meters,” Hormann said. “But you can stay as long as you want in parking lots and structures. And in the ones that are branded with the Parkit Logo, they’re all free for the first hour.”

Parking garages are the better choice in the summertime, as well, to keep your car from baking in the sun while you are off enjoying lunch or shopping.

Parking can be such a hassle and I really appreciated the insiders’ tips for parking in Tempe.

Now that you have knowledge and a higher appreciation for what the Mill Avenue District provides for our city, you’ll know who they are next time. If you see a red-shirt ambassador or Safe-T-Patrol Guide, say hello or ask if you need help!

Some other activities and events associated with the Mill Avenue District:

Festival of the Arts


More info:

  • To see upcoming events in Tempe, click here.
  • For a better parking spot in downtown Tempe, click here.
  • To apply for a job with the Mill Avenue District, click here.

Downtown Tempe high rise space near capacity – new high rise space in demand

High rise space in downtown Tempe is nearly at capacity, creating demand for new development.


·         Hayden Ferry Lakeside is at 94 percent occupancy

·         Tempe Gateway is approximately 40 percent leased with leads on much of the remaining space

·         Papago Gateway Center is 80 percent leased

·         Centerpoint on Mill has converted existing second floor retail into office space to take advantage of the market

·         Tempe’s vacancy rate for business space is lower than neighboring cities Phoenix and Chandler

·         Mill Avenue has added 48 new retail businesses since 2009 that are open and thriving – the vacancy rate has gone from 32.4 percent in April 2009 to 20.5 percent this month


“The time is now to build and we are ready to connect developers who have projects that fit our community with landowners and bankers to continue to improve our city,” said Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman. “The commercial towers that were constructed in the last development cycle are now nearly full. To continue to prosper as a city, we need to have office space available for the companies that want to make Tempe their home.”


The Mill Avenue and Tempe Town Lake areas that make up downtown Tempe have succeeded in attracting top firms such as Microsoft, KPMG, Limelight Networks and Smith Barney. The area is considered the Valley’s Creative Corridor, with more than 20 marketing, web design, public relations and advertising firms calling the one mile stretch around Mill Avenue and Town Lake their home.


Hayden Ferry Lakeside is home to many of those firms, with new web development company Statera hosting their grand opening on March 29. Xhibit, a digital media company relocating from Michigan, is also in the process of tenant improvements in the building. Silicon Valley Bank is also moving into Hayden Ferry Lakeside.


“After purchasing Hayden Ferry Lakeside I at 51 percent occupancy last June and reaching 94 percent leased in just seven months, we were pleased to expand our investment in Tempe with the purchase of Hayden Ferry Lakeside II in February,” said Matt Mooney, Vice-President and Managing Director of Parkway Properties, Inc.  “We consider Hayden Ferry Lakeside to be one of the premier office projects in Greater Phoenix and the leasing activity level speaks to that quality.  Tempe is outpacing most of the other submarkets in metro Phoenix in the recovery.”


A media event will be hosted at Hayden Ferry Lakeside at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20. An announcement about a forthcoming development will be made at that time.


Tempe Gateway still has space available, but the interest level in its remaining square footage is very high. Companies at Tempe Gateway include Limelight Networks, Waste Management, and Parsons.


“We’ve been very pleased with our Tempe investment. Our leasing efforts have been highly successful so far and some of the City’s most important businesses have made our building their home,” said Ada Healy of Vulcan Real Estate.


DMB Commercial has about 10,000 square feet of office space available because demand has been strong enough that they have converted second floorspace into office.


Retail in downtown Tempe has seen a huge uptick, with the vacancy rate at the worst of the economy at 32.4 percent to currently 20.5 percent of the same space. Tempe Gateway added 25,000 square feet of retail space for lease this year, with 7,500 square feet of that already leased to


A photo of downtown Tempe looking south from the Papago Gateway Center building and a chart showing current vacancy rates are attached.


About Tempe, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona is home to Arizona State University, historic Mill Avenue, and Tempe Town Lake. It’s the urban heart of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area, with a population of 161,000, a workforce of 151,000, approximately 200,000 college students and 4 million visitors annually. A smart city, Tempe boasts one of the highest education rates in the state, with nearly 40 percent of the population older than 25 holding a Bachelor’s degree or better.

Spring Training Fans: Take the FREE Trolley from Mill Ave. to Tempe Diablo Stadium

Angel Spring Training has begun!  Don’t stress over parking, traffic, or where to eat before or after the game- we’ve got you covered.  The Angels Baseball Spring Trolley will make your trip to Tempe Diablo Stadium quick and easy.  Here’s the kicker- it’s all FREE. Free parking, Free trolley, Stress Free.  What are you waiting for?


Park at any of these designated ParkiT garages and lots*:

Hayden Station Garage – Located on 3rd Street just west of Mill Avenue
Centerpoint Surface Lot – Located on Maple, just south of 5th Street
City Hall Garage – Located on 5th Street and Forest Avenue, 2 blocks east of Mill

*Remember to take your parking ticket for validation at the Trolley stop


Catch the Trolley at the northwest corner of Mill Ave. & 5th St. (in front of Lotions & Potions).  Look for the Angels Spring Training Trolley sign.

On each game day, Trollies will pick-up every 20 minutes beginning at 11am until 30 minutes after the end of the game.  The Tempe Diablo Stadium trolley stop will be located at 52nd Street and Campus Dr.


Plan your day with room for some downtime in the Mill Avenue District.  We have over 100 restaurants, shops, bars, and entertainment venues to round out your leisurely day.  For a complete list of Mill Avenue District restaurants and shops visit

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your ride to Angels Spring Training. Play ball!

From Ignorance to Mill Ave

If there is one thing I have found to be true about Valley of the Sun, it is that the influx of people from around the country never seems to stop. Day in and day out I notice that those I come across spanning from the east to west coast are still clinging to their individual identities. They move to Arizona, but are still from Chicago (or insert whichever big city you please), drive like they are in Chicago, support Chicago teams, and wouldn’t dare learn about Arizona. Little did I realize, since becoming the newest addition to the Downtown Tempe Community, that I too had been shafting my responsibility as an Arizona resident to become involved in what’s going on. It wasn’t until I began working here and strolling Mill Avenue at lunch time with my coworkers that I realized how much I was actually missing out on. Here in lies one of our biggest conundrums facing the Mill Avenue District, as well as our whole valley, where culture is growing, vast, and punctuated by individual personalities of arts, events, and unique stores and restaurants. The comfort zone of those who migrate here, myself included, has yet to grow more than just a few miles outside the home. To address this, the Downtown Tempe Community has taken on the role of bringing the community together by fostering a vibrant place to live, work, and play. In recent years, the Mill Avenue District has become a lot more than just a college hang out. It brings a multi-faceted definition to the word “place.” Downtown Tempe is a fun place to check out the stores and restaurants exclusive to the area, a creative workplace filled with emerging ideas and a place to find all kinds of entertainment. All of these definitions add to the reemerging community feel in the Mill Avenue District.

Recently, I attended my first Tempe Festival of the Arts. The event itself spanned three days, Friday to Sunday, and encompassed a crop of hundreds of juried artists, ranging in craft from beautifully sculpted artwork and paintings. The vibe, even though it was freezing and raining for one entire day was smiles and happiness, people greeting each other, dogs playing. Throughout the crowded day, I gave up counting the strollers and leashes; I should clarify the leashes were on pets, not children. For someone who had never been to the festival before, it seemed unusual for strangers to be so friendly and helpful to each other all day long. I felt as if I was waiting for a director to yell “Cut,” and everyone to scatter from a movie scene. It was only then that I realized it is events like these that are bringing the community even closer together every year.

The Downtown Tempe Community continues their efforts of gathering the community with the monthly Third Thursdays. The next Third Thursday event on January 19th will feature a free concert featuring Rose’s Pawn Shop and Ragamuffin Stampede, Music on Mill performers along the streets, and a social networking scavenger hunt. I googled the bands performing to see what I was in for- Rose’s Pawn Shop has an old school country edge that will keep the crowd dancing all night. Ragamuffin Stampede, who is the opening act, brings a more reminiscent feel of twang-y upbeat sixties country as well. The social networking scavenger hunt via our Facebook page keeps residents awaiting the next clue to snap a picture next to the winning landmark and win gift certificates and a chance at $250 in more free stuff. Free entertainment in an open space, activities encouraging us to explore our downtown, this is how locals should be connecting with our community.

Now, I will no longer be shafting my responsibility to my city. This time, thanks to my exposure to the area, I can tell my friends and family a great place to eat before or after the show, a hidden gem of a shopping area, and where you can just sit around and meet new people. When I walk along the streets of Mill Avenue I have found a strange sense of pride tingling in my fingers- I’m proud of my new knowledge of Downtown Tempe. I suppose that is what the feeling of community does to you when you decide to embrace it. When you finally acknowledge it, you find yourself in a home away from home; so I guess I should say welcome to my home.

By: Morgan Egger
Mill Avenue District