|Randall Lewis (second from left) with Menifee Action Group memebers, Darcy Kuenzi, Bill Zimmerman and Jim Wang.|
That was the message given by urban planning authority Randall Lewis to more than 40 civic and business leaders on Aug. 16 at a luncheon hosted by the Menifee Action Group at Menifee Lakes Country Club.
“The decisions made during the next three years will affect Menifee for the next 30,” said Lewis, executive vice president of the Upland-based Lewis Group of Companies, which has built successful shopping centers, master-planned communities, office and industrial projects.
With large tracts of undeveloped land, Menifee holds enormous potential for becoming a vibrant city, Lewis said, but it must be willing to appeal to a wide range of people in various stages of their lives.
"You shouldn't fear multi-family community plans, but you must insist that they be quality projects,” Lewis said. "There is already an increasing demand for smaller product types that are affordable with lower energy and maintenance costs appealing to empty nesters, first-time buyers and young executives."
“And don’t forget to allow for housing for CEOs who will consider relocating his or her company to a place where the CEO’s family might want to live,” Lewis added. A strong arts community, bustling downtown and healthy lifestyles are just some of the important components to ensuring a successful city, Lewis said.
Mayor Scott Mann, City Council members Tom Fuhrman and John Denver, and planning commissioners Matt Liesemeyer and Earl Phillips were in the audience as Lewis advised the city that it should expect to see a varied retail environment where today’s big-box retailers trend to smaller spaces and the demand for smaller housing product are increasing.
"Menifee should build on what is has already," Lewis said. "Don't try and be something you're not. Make an honest assessment and take advantage of the assets already here like the community college, the hospital and the I-215 freeway."
The lunchtime event was organized by the Menifee Action Group, comprised of business and community leaders who are active in promoting economic success and good governance to the young city of Menifee.