Several nationally-known restaurants and retailers have inked agreements to call Perris home even as economic development specialists reach out to many more businesses interested in locating in the City.
Perris elected representatives say the flood of retail establishments coming to town reflects years of hard work put in by municipal staff, administrators and the Mayor and City Council—toil that began before the Great Recession of 2008 and continues today.
“It is not a quick or easy process to convince retail establishments to locate to any community,” said Perris Mayor Daryl Busch. “It takes years, and like life, you don’t always get the results you want. But you don’t give up. You keep trying. And we’re glad we are seeing positive results.”
The latest good news was announced Sept. 13 at the most recent Perris City Council meeting.
Michael McDermott, Chief Operating Officer of Perris Community Economic Development Corp. announced plans for a Smart & Final location near Nuevo Road and Interstate 215. McDermott said Smart & Final plans to begin operating a location of approximately 35,000-square-feet sometime in 2017. The City agreed to assist Smart & Final with signage placement at its new location.
Smart & Final wasn’t the only coup landed during the trip to the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in San Diego.
McDermott said plans for a 99 Cents Only Store near Smart & Final also are moving forward. Johnny Rockets hamburger restaurant also signed a lease to locate in Perris.
Work continues on the new Corky’s Kitchen and Bakery near I-215 and Ethanac Road in south Perris and a new Applebees north of Nuevo Road and Perris Boulevard. Other planned restaurants include Chipotle, Pieology, Popeyes, Waba Grill and Yogurtland along with Pacific Dental and Verizon, all in the Perris Marketplace at 1700 North Perris Blvd.
“We did well,” McDermott said of the recent trip to San Diego. “We should have a lot to report in the future.”
Hard work pays off
Perris Mayor Pro Tem Rita Rogers and other members of the City Council didn’t hide their enthusiasm at the retail boom. Rogers commended McDermott for his work at the shopping center convention and noted that members of the City Council also have attended the event to lobby on behalf of Perris.
“Hard work always pays off,” Rogers said. “Bringing retail to a community does not happen overnight. It takes years and years of developing relationships.”
Rogers said that like other cities, Perris felt the effects of the Great Recession that devastated the country’s economy beginning in 2008 and lasted for years. She said elected officials have known for a long time the desire of residents to attract more retail to Perris.
“Our residents have been asking for this for years and we are pleased to be able to see the results of our efforts,” Rogers said.
More help for residents
City Councilwoman Tonya Burke called the recent run of businesses to Perris “the kick-start of what is to come” in the future. She hailed the new businesses for the tax revenue they will generate that will pour into City coffers.
“We are attracting retail that residents have long desired,” she said. “That means more projects that will help more people in Perris. I’m very excited about where our City is going.”
Burke said it is important for Perris to tout its accomplishments so that City residents feel part of the continuing outreach.
“This is a very exciting time for our City,” Burke said. “The fire has been lit and it’s not going to stop! It makes me very proud to see Perris attracting the commercial development that our residents want—and deserve.”
City Councilman David Starr Rabb, a lifelong resident of Perris, said the recent slew of business to Perris represents the largest retail influx in at least 20 years. Rabb predicted the ongoing tide of business to Perris will become a flood in the coming months.
“Residents will be pleasantly surprised at what they will be seeing,” Rabb said. “There is a need for more retail in Perris and businesses are rushing in to fill that need. I’m looking forward to continue the good work.”
City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said retail establishments follow commercial and industrial development, which brings jobs and people to a community. Retailers react to the demand by those people and set up restaurants, gyms and other shops. Yarbrough credited a cohesive team of elected representatives, municipal administrators and business-development experts with sending the message “that Perris is the place to be.”
“Perris is the place to do business,” he said. “We’ve got affordable homes and jobs. Perris is on the go.”