Mayor Outlines Growth, Successes in State of City Address

Scott Mann Mayor of Menifee 2014
Menifee Mayor Scott Mann addressed several issues at Thursday's State of the City event.
Posted by Doug Spoon

Citing Menifee’s status as the sixth fastest growing city in California, Mayor Scott Mann Thursday updated residents and local dignitaries on the city’s “Keep Menifee Moving” vision during the sixth annual State of the City address.

A large crowd at Menifee Lakes Country Club attended the event, which was presented by the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce. In his speech to the guests, Mann described the city’s efforts to continue commercial and residential development while maintaining the rural charm of the city.

“Your city is constantly thinking outside the box and trying to come up with new and creative ways to do business and provide quality service to our residents,” Mann said. “We are planning for the future with a vision aligned with policy goals. We are taking on new issues that produce a quality of life for our residents and their families — a qualify of life we can all be proud of.

“A feature that attracts people to Menifee is our rural charm. If you look around in the county and even in the state of California, there are not many cities that still have a rural element to them. We as a city council recognize our founding characteristics of a rural community with open land and embraced it within our general plan.”

These city statistics were presented during Scott Mann’s address Thursday.

While preserving large lots of open land within the city’s 46 square miles, Mann said city officials are focusing on what he calls the “quality of life cycle” of the city’s “Keep Menifee Moving” vision:

— Businesses bring more customers and more revenue.
— Property owners enjoy higher property values.
— Visitors have more shopping and recreation options.
— The city enjoys increased revenues for city services.
— Residents enjoy new benefits and amenities.

In describing the commercial developments at the heart of this cycle, Mann updated guests on the status of the city’s largest commercial projects, including the much talked-about Menifee Town Center.

Located to the south of Newport Road just west of Haun Road, Menifee Town Center will include:

— 558,000 square feet of mixed use development
— Retail businesses anchored by a Krikorian theater complex, bowling alley and sports bar
— A new city hall
— A Central Park with walking trail, tot lot, splash pad and an outdoor amphitheater for the performing arts
— Medium and low density residential housing
— Restaurants (to be announced)
— Possibly a court house

Mann also announced new businesses that have committed to the developer of a 12.4-acre parcel right on the corner of Newport and Haun. This project, which is separated from the Menifee Town Center by the Salt Creek channel, is owned by Rich Development, which has announced agreements with the following tenants:

— Aldi’s grocery
— Petsmart
— Party City
— Kirklands
— Buffalo Wild Wings
— Chili’s
— The Habit Burger restaurant
— Jimmy John’s
— El Pollo Loco
— Sonic Drive-in restaurant

Arrow points to the 12.4-acre parcel bordered by Newport Road to the north (right), Salt Creek channel to the west and Haun Road to the east, where Rich Development has commitments from several new businesses. Below is the plot plan showing the proposed location of those businesses. (Click on the image to enlarge).

In another announcement, Mann said that LA Fitness is the first tenant committed to the Menifee Lakes Plaza, which will be built on the northwest corner of Newport Road and Antelope Road.

These announcements are in addition to the following commercial developments previously announced:

— The Shops at Menifee Lakes, a complex on the southeast corner of Newport Road and Menifee Road that will be anchored by a Stater Bros. market and restaurants.

— Newport Town Square, currently under construction on the north side of Newport Road just west of Haun Road. Tenants committed so far include Applebee’s, Five Guys Burgers, Jersey Mike’s Subs and America’s Tire.

— The Junction at Menifee, a 50-acre development on the northwest corner of Scott Road and Haun Road. This will be a master planned retail center with shops and restaurants. No tenants have been announced.

— A Walmart Superstore to be built on the northeast corner of Scott and Haun, between Haun Road and the 215 Freeway. Ground has not been broken on that project, but Mann said it is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015.

Realizing residents’ concerns about traffic with all the planned developments, Mann also provided an update on the city’s $100 million capital improvement plan, which includes seven major road projects. Two of those — the Newport Road widening project and the Menifee Road “missing link” project — have been completed. The others are:

— Reconstruction of the Newport Road freeway interchange, a $37 million project scheduled to begin late this year.

— The Holland Road overpass, a $17-20 million project which is fully funded and in the design phase.l

— The McCall Boulevard freeway interchange, a $30-40 million project in the design phase.

— The Scott Road freeway interchange, which has completed the design phase but remains $17 million short of its $30-40 million price tag.

— A bridge over Salt Creek on Bradley Road, an $8 million project to resolve flooding issues during rains.

Public safety is another priority in a city of more than 82,000 that has increased 15 percent in population since incorporation in 2008. Contracts with the county Sheriff’s and Fire departments make up 63 percent of the city’s budget, and hiring of three new police officers was recently approved. Mann said city officials continue to support legislation that would restore the loss of millions of dollars in vehicle license fees that would help fund additional officers.

“We are undertaking activities today and making hard decisions now that will produce a higher quality of life tomorrow,” Mann said. “By working collectively together toward future goals and visioning, I am confident that the City of Menifee will continue to be highly sought after as the most desired place to live and raise a family.”

Guests filled the Menifee Lakes Country Club ballroom to hear Mayor Scott Mann speak on Thursday.

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