City Council Approves $52 Million 'Junction' Shopping Center

Design plans show the look of the historic plaza and surrounding garden areas of The Junction at...

Design plans show the look of the historic plaza and surrounding garden areas of The Junction at Menifee Valey.
Action by the Menifee City Council this week cleared the way for construction of The Junction at Menifee Valley, a 526,800-square-foot retail center and historic plaza at the northwest corner of Scott Road and Haun Road.

This project has been in the making since 2006, when the property was purchased by developer Pac Ten Partners. Eight years later, having cleared many hurdles in planning and permits with both Riverside County and the City of Menifee, the $52 million project will become reality.

Kassen Klein, representing Pac Ten Partners, told city council members on Wednesday that the project should be completed by late 2015 or early 2016.

The property is the site of the Bailey Family Farmstead, which includes some of the oldest remaining structures in Menifee. The crumbling remains of the family farm can be seen from both Scott and Haun roads, where it is fenced off to prevent vandalism. Intruders have disturbed the property in the past, marking it with graffiti and even stealing a precious Native American metate -- a bowl-shaped stone used by Indians of the area to ground and store grain.

Historic preservation officials have determined that the Bailey Farmstead structures (below) cannot be preserved. However, in an effort to preserve the historic feel of such an important part of Menifee's culture, plans include several structures to be built using pieces of the existing buildings.

A "historic plaza" within the shopping center will include a recreation of the water tank house, which can still be seen on the property; a replica of the family's outdoor stone water heater; and an outdoor fireplace constructed from stones salvaged from the original fireplace.

Members of the Bailey family and other longtime Menifee residents were consulted during the design process.

"The architecture will reflect the rural history of the area," Klein said. "There will be a water tower, water wheel, and much use of lumber and stone indicative of the time period."

Inside the recreated tank house (right) will be panels containing images and text about the history of the area.

Council members unanimously certified the Environmental Impact Report, approved a zoning change from Industrial Park to General Commercial, and approved the plot plan.

"I want to compliment the design team for capturing the essence of the area, the Bailey family and the cultural significance of this site," Mayor Scott Mann said.

Plans include 18 buildings, a large garden center and historic plaza, and parking lots. The complex will stretch from Haun Road on the east to Howard Road on the west. No tenants have been signed, but the design includes space for as many as five restaurants, a 10-pump gas station and many retail shops.

Building materials will include simulated wood siding, metal roofing, plaster finish and metal trellises. The color scheme will consist of muted earth tones. Amenities will include outdoor walking paths, plazas and picnic tables.

In addition to the services that would be provided to Menifee residents, the City of Menifee would benefit in terms of much additional sales tax revenue that can be used to support city services.

"This really is a shot in the arm for our police department, fire department and other services, not to mention the retail businesses," said council member Wally Edgerton.

A total of 2,686 parking stalls will be provided throughout the site. On the west side of Haun Road, there will be a 12-foot multipurpose trail for use by pedestrians and bicycles.

Specifics of the plan can be seen by downloading the April 3 City Council agenda from the City of Menifee website.

According to design plans, Building 1 would be a gas station; Building 2 would include a garden center; Buildings 3-11 and 18 would be for single or multiple tenant use; and Buildings 12-17 are designated for restaurant use.


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