Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez, Walmart Store Manager Brenda Boone and Perris City Council members Julio Rodriguez and Mark Yarbrough are all smiles at the ground-breaking ceremony.
City of Perris officials on Monday broke ground on a new 184,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter that will employ hundreds of people, bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars to City coffers and is expected to attract other business to a Perris Boulevard commerce hub.
Site work on the supercenter is underway and construction is expected to be completed by mid-2015. The new center includes the addition of fresh fruits, vegetables and other groceries, general merchandise, a garden center and full-service pharmacy. The store will employ about 300 people—85 new jobs plus the 215 Wal-Mart employees currently working at the existing store who will make the move to the supercenter.
The original Walmart opened in 1992 on Perris Boulevard north of Nuevo Road and was the first Walmart in Riverside County.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch led a contingent of City representatives at the ground-breaking. Also present were Mayor Pro-Tem Rita Rogers, City Council members Al Landers, Julio Rodriguez and Mark Yarbrough, City Manager Richard Belmudez, Assistant City Manager Ron Carr and Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager Michael McDermott.
Busch said plans for the new center have existed since 2007 and he cannot count the number of times Perris residents have approached him and asked when the Super Walmart would become a reality.
“This day has been a long time coming,” Busch said. “I’m proud to see Walmart continue to invest in our community,” Busch said. “Walmart has proven to be a good partner both in helping our residents save money and through supporting our community organizations in the City of Perris.”
True to that commitment, prior to the official ground-breaking, Walmart representatives presented checks totaling $8,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Perris, Eagles Wings Community Outreach Center and the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation.
Mayor Pro-Tem Rogers said the Walmart expansion means greater shopping choices for cost-conscious City residents.
“This is wonderful,” she said. “We’ve waited for years to get this through the planning process. It’s wonderful to be able to have some more choices and selections for our residents.”
Landers said that the arrival of the Super Walmart indicates that “Perris is blooming and blossoming all over.”
“This has been much-needed and much-anticipated,” he said. “I support anything we can do to bring tax dollars and jobs to our City that will help other businesses like restaurants and gas stations.”
Rodriguez said he is pleased Walmart is supporting non-profit like the Boys and Girls Club of Perris, which recently opened a club house in the City. “It is especially important to know they are leading by example by giving to organizations that are doing good work in this City,” he said.
Yarbrough said the new supercenter “helps maintain the economic engine of this City” and hopefully will prompt additional businesses to relocate to Perris. The supercenter is part of the Perris Marketplace and includes foundation slabs for other businesses like retail shops and sit-down restaurants.
“Hopefully when other businesses see Walmart is willing to step up in Perris they will decide they should also be looking at Perris to expand,” he said.
Brenda Boone, store manager of the current Walmart location, said store employees are eager to see the new store open.
“Residents will have access to fresh food and groceries in their local store as well as a higher quality shopping experience. It will become a true one-stop shopping destination.”
Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, a Perris Valley resident, said he’s glad the long wait to take the store from conception to completion is almost over.
“I am excited this day is here,” Ashley said. “This is a good day for Perris shoppers.”
One of the world’s largest corporations, Walmart employs two million people in 27 countries with ecommerce websites in 10 countries. The company projects sales of $473 billion this year. Full-time employees in California earn an average of $13.11-per hour and have the chance to earn additional pay through performance bonuses and matching 401 (k) contributions of up to six percent.