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

Rio Ranch Market an Example of Why Redeveloment Works

Perris officials say Wednesday’s opening of Rio Ranch Market is a perfect example of why redevelopment works in California.
For five years, the building sat empty and blighted, an attractive nuisance that invited graffiti and other mischief-making. Attempts to revitalize the Fourth Street location—a gateway to Perris’ Downtown—proved unsuccessful.

Two  years ago, representatives of the grocery chain approached the City’s Redevelopment Agency with their vision to rehab and reopen the store. They spent $2 million to gut the interior and remodel the inside.

City officials worked with the company, providing $350,000 in redevelopmment funds to pay for parking lot, exterior lighting and façade improvements to the entire mall that the supermaket anchors.

The City benefits from the 80-plus jobs Rio Ranch created, plus the potentail of hundreds of thousands of dollars generated by sales and property taxes.

Glistening isles loaded with fresh merchandise await people after Wednesday’s grand opening
Glistening isles loaded with fresh merchandise await people after Wednesday’s grand opening.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said the City’s investment will reap benefits many-fold.

That is why he and other members of the Perris City Council are opposing Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies in California and transfer those monies to the general fund to close a projected $25 billion state budget gap.

Busch, CityCouncilman Al Landers, City Councilwomen Joanne Evans and Rita Rogers, City Manager Richard Belmudez, Assistant City Manager Ron Carr, Deputy City Manager Darren Madkin and Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager Michael McDermott attended a pre-opening celebration at Rio Ranch Monday. Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, a Perris resident, also attended.

Intensive construction has transformed an empty building into a fully-stocked supermarket with its own tortilla making center and indoor eating area. A ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, at which time the store will be open to the public. Façade work on the rest of the shopping center is expected to wrap up later this month.

City Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager Michael McDermott listens as Rio Ranch CEO Jay McCormack extols the City for working to rehabilitate the shopping center on Fourth Street. Perris Mayor Daryl Busch listens to the conversation
City Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager Michael McDermott listens as Rio Ranch CEO Jay McCormack extols the City for working to rehabilitate the shopping center on Fourth Street. Perris Mayor Daryl Busch listens to the conversation.

“This is a shining example of what redevelopment can do,” Mayor Busch said. “With redevelopment funds, we can re-establish a market, provide a badly needed facelift to this entire shopping center and bring additional services to our City.

We wish Rio Ranch much success We thank them for embracing our community.”

Landers said redevelopment turns “blight into jobs.”

“Without redevelopment, our City is crippled,” Landers said. “With it, we can use projects like Rio Ranch to serve as a magnet to attract other businesses to Perris. Without it, we have no carrot to wave in front of potential employers to create jobs and tax dollars. Redevelopment helps us survive.”

City Councilwoman Rogers said redevelopment gives Perris “the opportunity to bring business, jobs and revenue to our City.”

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch accepts a plaque from Rio Ranch
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch accepts a plaque from Rio Ranch.

Rio Ranch President and Chief Executive Officer Jay McCormack credited the Perris City Council, Planning Commission, Redevelopment and Economic Development Staff and Building Department representatives for partnering with the company to expedite the rehabilitation efforts. McCormack called Perris “the best City we’ve ever work with” and presented plaques to City Staff and the City Council for their cooperation.

McCormack said that without City redevelopment funds, the exterior rehabiliation of Rio Ranch and the surrounding businesses in the Fourth Street shopping center would not have been as nice or extensive.

“Without the assistance, we could not have done the exterior,” he said.

Jay McCormack, Chief Executive Officer of Rio Ranch Market, addresses a crowd at the Perris store Monday night: “Perris is the best City we’ve ever worked with.”
Jay McCormack, Chief Executive Officer of Rio Ranch Market, addresses a crowd at the Perris store Monday night: “Perris is the best City we’ve ever worked with.”

Supervisor Ashley urged Gov. Brown to consider how well redevelopment has worked in communities like Perris. Besides Rio Ranch Market, redevelopment funds have been used to attract the aerospace company Stretch Forming Corporation and other businesses, rehab the art deco Perris Theatre and  provide new exteriors for businesses along Historic D Street.

“Come on governor, open your eyes,” Ashley said. “Redevelopment makes it possible to create public-private partnerships, create jobs, build to the tax and remove blight. Redevelopment is working in Perris.”