“Menifee is the fastest growing city in Southwest Riverside County and seventh fastest growing city in Southern California,” says Gina Gonzalez, economic development director with the City of Menifee, California. “The city’s population is projected to grow by 8 percent by 2021, reaching more than 106,000 residents.”
She notes, “With an average age of 37, an average income of $80,000, and a sales leakage of more than $800 million in every business cluster, Menifee has the recipe for business expansion success.”
Gonzalez has growth on her mind. That extends to all aspects of the city, from additional residents and workers to enhanced technological initiatives and an expanding retail base. She recently discussed with Shopping Center Business the significant projects Menifee has on its radar.
What are you most excited about in terms of Menifee’s retail activity?
Gonzalez: To meet growing consumer demand, we have many retail projects, both current and future. We are most excited about Menifee Lakes Plaza. The neighborhood center has tenants opening one after another. It is now home to a 38,000-square-foot LA Fitness, Raising Cane’s, Café Rio, Tuesday Morning, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Waba Grill, Blaze Pizza, Kahoots Feed & Pet Supply, Firehouse Subs, and a Chevron Gas & Service Center. The center should receive Barons Market, Jamba Juice and Banner Mattress this year as well.
We are also very excited about future projects at Menifee Town Center. This mixed-use project will contain office, medical office, meeting space and hotels. One of the most anticipated aspects of this project is the Krikorian Premiere Entertainment Complex, which is on track to break ground in the next 60 days. The 108,000-square-foot complex will feature 13 theater screens, the largest (100-foot) movie screen in California, a 16-lane bowling alley, arcade, laser tag, a restaurant and a wide host of amenities!
What type of retail and restaurants is Menifee looking to attract based on it live-work-play population?
Gonzalez: Menifee is currently looking to attract many sit-down restaurants to accommodate new residents. Currently, many restaurants in the city have a two-hour wait on weekend nights. There is also a great need for entertainment and nightlife. Our residents are traveling outside of the city to be entertained or to grab a drink. We would like to see these residents be able to play in their own city.
How have e-commerce and technology impacted Menifee’s retail sector?
Gonzalez: While other cities have felt this challenge affect them greatly, we have not felt this pain yet due to the strong demand Menifee has. There are still opportunities for prime, available, freeway-frontage land.
We have introduced technology to Menifee’s development services and are currently welcoming high-tech businesses with open arms. The City of Menifee is also home to one of the fastest growing community colleges in the state, Mt. San Jacinto College, which has a regional impact of $600 million, making Menifee a sought after college town, with a ready workforce in many fields.
Where do you see Menifee’s retail offerings heading in the next five or 10 years?
Gonzalez: Due to Menifee’s untapped potential, we only see growth and opportunity. Based on growth projections and the fact that we have 32 housing developments under construction now, we anticipate increased activity and opportunities, in all sectors, for Menifee’s future.
— Interview by Nellie Day. For information about Menifee’s Restaurant Incentive Program, visit menifeebusiness.com/restaurant/. This post was published as part of Shopping Center Business’ Retail Insight series.