City Manager Alex Meyerhoff provides the scoop on new business development
■ By Mary Ann Morris / Editor
Alex Meyerhoff, Hemet’s city manager, recently gave a presentation, complete with PowerPoint slides and parcel maps, to demonstrate the growth that Hemet is experiencing, and expects to continue.
“Great things happening in Hemet are really a team effort. We have a phenomenal council and executive team and staff that are dedicated to the furtherance of the city’s objectives,” stated Meyerhoff at the June 2 First Friday meeting at Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors to a room packed full of Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Chamber of Commerce members.
Completed projects remain successful
Meyerhoff recounted some recently completed projects, such as the KPC Towne Center retail complex at 2243 W. Florida Avenue in Hemet, home to a new Burlington Coat Factory, a relocated Sprouts and a new Ulta Beauty. The new Sprouts store is larger than its previous location, so more employees were needed. Burlington and Ulta were brand new stores for Hemet, so all new employees were hired.
“The KPC Towne Center….took a project that was a long standing eyesore – an attractive nuisance and a place where homeless folks congregated – and created hundreds of jobs,” said Myerhoff.
The popularity of Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen in Hemet amazed even Meyerhoff.
“We’re astounded how popular a sit-down quick serve restaurant could be. This project created 38 jobs onsite and the owner was able to hire 28 folks to be employed in Beaumont,” stated Meyerhoff. “It put Hemet residents to work.”
Several businesses have undergone remodeling, including Burger King, on the corner of Florida Avenue and Gilmore Street, and the Hemet Valley Mall.
Hemet Mall renovation
The Hemet Valley Mall recently underwent an exterior and interior facelift, adding a new façade and hardscaping, and remodeling the interior space as well. The following tenants inhabit the interior of the mall: Cali Subs, Samurai Sushi and Grill, Frutamania, Samuels Jewelers, Payless Shoes, Solo Wear, Sprint, Hobby Lobby, Creative Creations Arts and Crafts, GNC Nutrition, Fiesta-Party, Lexy, Daniels Jewelers, T-mobile, Police Substation, Quick Fix Jewelry & Design, Hot Topic, Magic Brow, Major Watch & Clock, Bath & Body Works, SeSi Clothing, Oh Nails, Sears , J.C. Penney , MasterCuts, Dollar Book Fair. Xccent shoes, Men’s Trendz, Mimi’s Silver kiosk, Foot Locker, Mimi’s Cell Zone kiosk, Claire’s and Luxury Perfumes.
Creative Creations Arts and Crafts is a unique type of participative arts and crafts store, which, for just $25 for kids 6-16 and $30 for adults, you can select and create three different crafts with no time limit. Admission for seniors 65 and older is $25. Parents of little ones age five and under can do three crafts with a paid adult admission.
“We are here to help people in our community connect with their creative side,” said Penny Warren, director.
New projects underway equals growth
Meyerhoff stated that several new projects have been approved, proposed or getting ready for construction.
For everyone who has been wondering what’s happening at the corner of Yale and Florida – it’s a Taco Bell. And, Meyerhoff stated that the Pedder Chrysler Auto Dealership moved from an interior pad at the auto mall to a 30,000 square foot exterior pad, estimating that an additional 400 cars per year can be sold.
“Folks at Pedder believe in Hemet. They will create jobs – jobs not only in sales but in repair,” stated Meyerhoff.
For a town with its population, we have a very diversified economy, stated Meyerhoff.
“We have a medical center, a robust manufacturing center, an equestrian center, a burgeoning retail center and an auto mall.”
Zanderson Plaza, at the corner of Sanderson and Menlo avenues, will be home to a number of quick service restaurants, a fuel station, and about 30,000 square feet of inline tenant shops, according to Meyerhoff. The quaint name, according to Meyerhoff, is because the developer’s grandchild is named Zander. However, by the time the plaza is ready to open, the name may change, said Meyerhoff.
“This plaza has already been approved and we are very excited about it. It’s very contemporary in a primary commercial corridor. What does it represent?” asked Meyerhoff. “Building permit activity, new sales tax revenue and jobs for the community.”
The Shops at Crossroads, at the northeast corner of Florida and Sanderson avenues, is being renovated and expanded to include The Habit, a furniture store and some outside dining.
“We need more outdoor dining. Our climate is beautiful 10 months out of the year. Shaded and fenced so it’s secure for the diners, but will add visibility,” said Meyerhoff.
While The Shops at Crossroads is looking for a new grocery tenant, Meyerhoff says Steer N Stein and La Michoacana, a small chain of four ice cream shops that uses its Hemet location as their onsite factory, stays. La Michoacana offers unique flavors such as limon y chimoy, tres leches, tequila almond and raspberry cheesecake. Go there at 8 p.m. and it’s packed, says Meyerhoff.
Shhhh…it’s a secret!
At the corner of Fruitvale and Sanderson, Meyerhoff says a new retail development including a drive thru restaurant, coffee shops, fuel station, and close to 18,000 square feet in retail shops are in the works.
“We don’t know exactly who yet,” says Meyerhoff. “They won’t say who the exact tenants are because deals are in the works and don’t want them to be blown.”