Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Facade Improvement Program Gets Underway

Veronica Arana, a Perris Redevelopment Project Coordinator, stands in front of the La Playita Building on D Street, a target for the City’s Façade Improvement Program
Veronica Arana, a Perris Redevelopment Project Coordinator, stands in front of the La Playita Building on D Street, a target for the City’s Façade Improvement Program.

The City of Perris has committed $900,000 to a program aimed at improving the look of its Downtown commercial area while restoring and preserving the integrity of several historically significant buildings.

The Façade Improvement Program makes grants of up to $30,000 available to businesses along the D Street corridor. The City is targeting 16 buildings in this program, which is being paid for with redevelopment agency funding.

 “The idea is to restore the buildings so we can boost economic development to Downtown,” said Michael McDermott, Redevelopment and Economic Development Director.

The City’s long-range vision for Downtown includes replacing the existing plaster facades on many buildings with red brick facades common during the early part of the 1900s, a time when Perris served as a commercial and transportation hub for a thriving regional agriculture and mining area.

Veronica Arana in front of Dad’s Auto, the first business set to receive renovations under the Façade Improvement Program
Veronica Arana in front of Dad’s Auto, the first business set to receive renovations under the Façade Improvement Program.

Several structures, including the 1892 Depot Building, have already been restored.

The Bank Building currently is undergoing restoration. Buildings targeted as part of the Façade Improvement Program include the TODEC Center, Lerner’s Warehouse, La Playita and Dad’s Auto.

Dad’s Auto is expected to become the first building to see actual construction. Work is expected to begin sometime this summer.

“I love the program,” said Richard Anderson, co-owner of Dad’s, which was built in the 1930s and served as a restaurant and service station before it became an automotive garage. “It shows the City’s commitment to its businesses.”

Antonio Rodriguez, who works for TODEC, an agency that provides educational programs for immigrants, also hailed the Façade Improvement Program.

“It’s going to make our building look great,” he said. “It’s going to benefit all the residents of the City of Perris.”

Veronica Arana, Redevelopment Project Coordinator, said comments from Anderson and Rodriguez are typical of the remarks she’s heard about the Façade Improvement Program. Arana has contacted many owners along D Street in recent months and the overwhelming majority say they are interested in participating.
Some are paying part of the improvement costs, she said.

“We’ve gotten a great response,” Arana said. “Most of the business owners can‘t wait to get going.”
City Councilwoman Joanne Evans said she is totally supportive of the planned renovations.

“I want to preserve the history we have here,” Evans said. “A lot of it is pretty great.”

See a short video about this project:

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