No Update From Walmart on Groundbreaking in Menifee

A Walmart Supercenter has been approved for this site next to Interstate 215 at Scott Road. As far a...

A Walmart Supercenter has been approved for this site next to Interstate 215 at Scott Road.
As far as city officials are concerned, Walmart is still coming to Menifee -- in at least one, perhaps two, locations.

The proposed site in the north part of town is still in the preliminary planning stages, however, and Walmart officials have made no announcement about groundbreaking for an approved site on the south end of Menifee.

Jeff Wyman, economic development director for the City of Menifee, said he still expects to see construction of a Walmart Supercenter at the corner of Scott and Haun Roads, bordering the west side of Interstate 215. There has been no sign of development of that 30-acre parcel since the project was approved by Menifee voters in June of 2011, however.

Walmart's corporate offices did not return requests by Menifee 24/7 for an update on the project, which remains one of the most asked questions by our readers.

"It has essentially been approved," Wyman said. "My understanding is that Walmart is working through the last bit of litigation. There's no construction going on, but there are always things happening in the background."

Wyman did not elaborate on those developments -- or lack thereof -- or any pending litigation, which sometimes is involved in the completion of such large projects.

The complex, approved by 76 percent of the voters in the Measure C ballot measure in 2011, would include a 205,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter in a shopping center format that would also include gas stations, fast-food restaurants and other businesses. All this would be built on what is now an open field between the freeway off-ramp at Scott Road and Haun Road to the west.

Opponents of the project cite the increase in traffic to an already congested two-lane freeway bridge at Scott Road. All avenues surrounding the proposed site are only one lane each way. The Scott Road bridge is part of a long-term plan for road improvements, on which residents will be updated during a public forum scheduled for April 30 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

Walmart officials also did not return requests for information on a second site on which the store chain has discussed plans for another Menifee store. This location would be in an open field to the north of McCall Blvd., adjacent to the east side of the 215.

"That project is moving forward, but it's a long process," Wyman said. "Something like that is usually a two- to four-year process. It's a fairly new location for them and that project would still be in the conceptual design stage. The city is also working diligently to solve some road issues."

Could Menifee support two Walmart stores?

"They foresee a demand for it, and I agree," Wyman said. "They are looking at the growth in this area."