Shelved commercial project in Menifee is back on table

A perfect storm may be developing in Menifee, a storm welcomed in a district plagued with a drought of development.

A 15-acre commercial project called the Heritage Square Shopping Center at the busy intersection of McCall Boulevard and Menifee Road is being revived. The Rancon Group is leading this ambitious retail project in Menifee and will be meeting with the city planning commission this week.

In 2007, the County of Riverside approved the development with plans including more than 133,500 square feet of retail space, including a 43,830 square foot supermarket pad. The project was approved before Menifee was a city and had a number of prospective tenants until the economy took a hit and the project was shelved.

“Menifee is a very business friendly community,” said Councilmember John Denver. “We have always wanted this project to move forward but we needed other projects to be completed before reviving Heritage Square Shopping Center.”

Denver said a number of key components needed to be completed first thus they worked with the Rancon Group to resolve some roadblocks like the “Missing Link” project, a $5 million improvement to Menifee Road.

The “Missing Link” on Menifee Road between Simpson and Aldergate creates an unbroken north-south corridor east of Interstate 215 making the Heritage Square retail project feasible.

“Without Council Member Denver’s help and support it is doubtful we would have gotten to this point in the development process,” said Jeff Comerchero from the Rancon Group.

A major deterrent to the project in 2007 was the flood plain that plagues District 4 limiting development in that section of town.

The city however has begun building the detention basin that desperately was needed in 2007. It is now under construction traveling from Interstate 215 into Perris.

Denver, who is also a realtor, said now that the flood plain can be controlled the development of more homes, retail centers and businesses can move forward.

“Menifee can start looking like Orange County,” Denver said. “As businesses move in home values will rise too.”

“Mayor Scott Mann and City Council Member John Denver in particular have been very supportive of our project and both have been instrumental in getting the ball rolling,” Comerchero said adding it is too early in the planning process to determine what businesses will make a great fit for the center.

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