Large Oak Tree Placed as Icon of Future Menifee Town Center

Contributed content: Menifee officials on Wednesday celebrated the arrival of the Menifee Oak T...

Contributed content:

Menifee officials on Wednesday celebrated the arrival of the Menifee Oak Tree, an 80-year-old California Live Oak that will serve as the landmark of the community’s future gathering place, Menifee Town Center.

The Menifee Oak Tree was planted in the vacant lot on the southwest corner of Newport and Haun roads in what will become the Menifee Town Center. The large oak tree is the center’s landmark and will be situated in a round-about in the middle of the Menifee Town Center’s main road.

"The Menifee Oak Tree will be a distinct landmark for the community as well as the centerpiece of Menifee Town Center,” said Regent Properties Representative Richard Lichtenstein. “We are ready to begin construction on the road that goes through the middle of the Town Center and will plant this very large, heavy tree now to avoid damaging the round-about, the road and tree by planting it later.”

The oak tree made a grand entrance at its final destination after being transported 45 miles from the Valley Crest nursery to Menifee on an oversized, escorted flatbed truck in the early hours of Wednesday morning. It was lifted off the flatbed by a crane and placed in the large hole.

“This beautiful oak tree will become a special landmark for the Menifee community,” said Interim City Manager Rob Johnson. “The Menifee Oak Tree embraces Menifee’s agricultural heritage as it becomes the cornerstone of the community’s meeting place, Menifee Town Center.”

Menifee Town Center is a 172-acre planned mixed-use development being built by Regent Properties. The Town Center will feature retail, dining and entertainment establishments, and possibly a movie theater, as well as housing. It also is the future home of Menifee City Hall, making this a central gathering place for the Menifee community.

Work on Menifee Town Center is underway. The Santa Rosa Academy opened this past fall at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, and utilities are in place for the rest of the development. Construction is set to begin on the main road this winter and the Town Center development is expected to be completed in spring 2014.

From left: Interim City Manager Rob Johnson; Nicholas Biro, Regents Director of Land Development; Daniel T. Gryczman, Regents Executive Vice President of Acquisitions & Development; Richard Lichtenstein, Regents Representative; Councilman Tom Fuhrman; Councilman John Denver; Mayor Scott Mann.