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Formerly known as the Mill Avenue District, Downtown Tempe serves as the central hub for Tempe shopping, dining, nightlife, and recreation. Built around Arizona State University, the area thrives by embracing the college culture and building a city ideal for home, work and play. Several large businesses offer jobs in Downtown Tempe and housing ranges from quaint historical homes to modern waterfront condos overlooking Tempe Town Lake.

Located 19 miles from downtown Phoenix and close to other large suburbs, Downtown Tempe provides an accessible location for community events for residents across the Phoenix metropolitan area. Events such as the Tempe Festival of the Arts draw in nearly 225,000 visitors over a three-day weekend.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Tempe, AZ is $1,404 for a studio, $1,465 for one bedroom, $1,953 for two bedrooms, and $1,924 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Tempe has increased by 5.9% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
609
$1,404
1 BR
739
$1,465
2 BR
1,137
$1,953
3 BR
1,439
$1,924
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

75 Walk Score® Very Walkable
70 Transit Score® Excellent Transit
93 Bike Score® Biker's Paradise

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Restaurants

Downtown Tempe has been a source of entertainment and nightlife since the early 70’s. A steady stream of college students and an influx of technology-minded businesspeople bolster the area’s reputation as a destination for great dining and high energy entertainment.

A popular destination with the daytime and night time crowds, Rula Bula Irish Pub sits directly on Mill Avenue in a remodeled historic saddlery and harness shop. Make sure and get the signature fish and chips; Rula Bula fries the cod to perfection and serves it with traditional Irish chips with malted vinegar on the side. Top your meal off with a pint of Guinness or a shot of Irish whiskey and enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday nights.

Up the block and across the street, Ncounter satisfies any breakfast, lunch, and brunch needs. The fresh made-from-scratch menu contains all the essentials, from eggs Benedict to Waldorf salads. Don’t forget the breakfast cocktails, the Bloody Mary is top notch. Try the chipotle egg burrito which features bacon, avocado, cilantro, potatoes and chipotle sauce combined with eggs and wrapped in a tortilla.

Nestled between Rula Bula and Ncounter, School of Rock houses two music rooms; one for live music from local and national artists and another for dancing while a DJ spins the latest Top 40 mashups. Weekly events occur Thursday through Saturday featuring local radio hosts and special guest DJs such as DJ Philip Thomas.

History

Farmers were the first settlers of the area south of the Salt River and east of Phoenix, which makes up the City of Tempe. In 1885 the Arizona State Legislature selected Tempe as the site for the Territorial Normal School which trained teachers for the Arizona school system. The area grew rapidly and the farms disappeared after World War II when an influx of veterans and others moved to the city. The teachers college also grew; in 1958 the school became Arizona State University.

The Mill Avenue District, which was once the commercial center of Tempe, declined in the years following the inauguration of the university. However, in 1971 the area blossomed into a robust entertainment and shopping center. In the city re-branded 2014 Mill Avenue District into Downtown Tempe. Still home of Arizona State University, the area hosted three presidential debates and Super Bowl XXX in 1996.

Transportation

Located between four major freeways, the US60 on the south, Route 202 on the north, Interstate 10 on the west and Loop 101 on the east, drivers have easy access to Downtown Tempe from anywhere in the Valley of the Sun. Valley Metro provides public transportation to the area, including four light rail stations. The area is 2 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Catching a cab on the street makes for a hit or miss proposition; consider calling one of the local cab companies or using your smart phone to request and Uber or Lyft ride.

Many residents prefer bicycles as a method of transportation around Downtown Tempe, and Tempe in general, because of the bike friendly streets and miles of pathways designed for biking, walking, and skating. Residents enjoy walking along the wide sidewalks. More than 5 miles of pathways surround Tempe Town Lake.

Several garages offer parking in the Downtown Tempe area; rates vary, but are typically between $2-$4 an hour, $12 per day, and $30-$60 a month. Most parking structures accept validation. More than 500 parking meters line the streets in Downtown Tempe. All of the meters take credit and debit cards and times can be extended using a cellular phone.

Cost

Downtown Tempe generally carries a six percent higher cost of living than Phoenix, yet housing varies greatly. Tempe Town Lake waterfront condos are extremely costly, but the general renter’s population consists of college students who require lower rents. A one-bedroom apartment costs approximately $585 a month. Generally, the cost of living in Downtown Tempe is two percent greater than the Arizona average and 1.6 percent higher than the national average.

Gas prices typically settle in around 6 percent lower than the national average. Public transportation from Downtown Tempe to Downtown Phoenix via light rail takes 25 minutes and costs $2.00. Expect to pay $4.50 for a pint of beer in most of the area’s breweries and pubs.

Shopping

Located 2 miles east of Downtown Tempe, Tempe Marketplace fills the everyday shopping needs with various stores such as Target, Old Navy, JC Penney and Harkins Theaters. Shoppers need to visit Scottsdale Fashion Square for higher end stores such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Coach, A|X Armani Exchange, and Burberry.

Grocery shopping is available at the Target at Tempe Marketplace, or at one of the Fry's locations south of Downtown Tempe. Travel 4.5 miles south to find a Whole Foods Market. Students typically find what they are looking for at the Wal-Mart on Campus on Apache Boulevard.

As a locally-owned indoor farmer's market, Tempe Farmer's Market offers a fresh selection of food from local farmers. The market is conveniently located on South Farmer Ave, and is open daily.

Here on the corner provides a break from the mainstream by offering many one-of-a-kind items in a hip chic environment. The boutique shop on the northwest corner of College Avenue and University Drive sells women's and men's ware as well as jewelry, accessories and shoes. Smart shoppers check in often because the inventory constantly changes.

The Shoe Mill has operated on Mill Avenue since 1987. Originally a retailer of Birkenstock, the store grew to be one of the only shoe stores in the valley to specialize in comfort and wellness-minded shoes. The shoes sold at The Shoe Mill are comfortable and stylish.

Parks

The city renovated its oldest park, Tempe Beach Park, in 1999 as part of the creation of Tempe Town Lake. The park offers 25 acres of recreation space, a splash playground and a historic baseball field. The park connects with more than 5 miles of pathways that surround Tempe Town Lake and gives pedestrians and bicyclists easy access to Tempe Marketplace, Mill Avenue and Papago Park near the Phoenix Zoo. Tempe Town Lake allows fishing and boating, with more than 2,000 rowers hitting the lake each year. Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake hosts Ironman Arizona, the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Oktoberfest and Arizona’s largest Independence Day celebration annually.

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Downtown Tempe Apartments for Rent

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SALT
260 E Rio Salado Pky, Tempe, AZ 85281
1 / 57
2 wks
$1,340 - 4,965 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
844-842-5391
University Pointe
919 E Lemon St, Tempe, AZ 85281
1 / 74
2 wks
Call for Rent Studio - 3 Bed Available Soon
855-891-8174
SALT
2 wks
21 E 6th St Unit 413
Tempe, AZ 85281
$1,650 Condo for Rent Available Now
928-433-6874
154 W 5th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
$1,895 Townhome for Rent Available Now
2 hrs
154 W 5th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
$1,350 Townhome for Rent Available Now
2 hrs
421 W 5th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
$850 House for Rent Available Now
New
154 E 5th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
$1,125 House for Rent Available Now
9 hrs
154 W 5th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
$1,125 Townhome for Rent Available Now
9 hrs

Apartments for Rent in Downtown Tempe, Tempe, AZ

Formerly known as the Mill Avenue District, Downtown Tempe serves as the central hub for Tempe shopping, dining, nightlife, and recreation. Built around Arizona State University, the area thrives by embracing the college culture and building a city ideal for home, work and play. Several large businesses offer jobs in Downtown Tempe and housing ranges from quaint historical homes to modern waterfront condos overlooking Tempe Town Lake.

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