A rendering of the upcoming Perris Gateway Commerce Center on Ramona Expressway.
A rendering of the upcoming Perris Gateway Commerce Center on Ramona Expressway shows the four confirmed tenants for the project, which include a Taco Bell, Sonic, Starbucks and Shell. (Courtesy of the city of Perris)

The city of Perris last month broke ground on the Perris Gateway Commerce Center, a new mixed-use business complex that will create new jobs and a cutting-edge trade partnership program with Val Verde High School.

“We are thrilled for all the new opportunities this project will bring to our city,” Perris Mayor Michael Vargas said at the groundbreaking. “The increase in jobs, the road and flood safety improvements to the area and the incredible job training partnerships will create lasting benefits for generations.”

The new development will feature a 950,000-square-foot logistics facility along with a 37,000-square-foot commercial center on Ramona Expressway, between Nevada Road and Webster Avenue, with seven retail stores, including Taco Bell, Starbucks, a Shell gas station and the city’s first Sonic.

“This is a big one, because we’re looking to push commerce and retail, and I think there’s a good opportunity for that here,” Stephen Hale, the city’s public information officer, said in an interview with TN News. “The mayor has always called Ramona Expressway, the gateway to the city … so that’s a crucial area for us as well, especially for some residents on that side of town.”

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The project, in addition to creating roughly 1,000 new and permanent jobs, will also provide funding for the city’s Downtown Skills Training & Job Placement Center, an investment of more than $200,000 to Val Verde High School for its career and technical education and garden programs, and a skills trade partnership with Val Verde high school and the labor unions.

The project, part of a larger mixed-use project approved by the Perris City Council last March, will also provide community benefits such as a multi-use path around the project site that can be used for biking and walking, a new storm drain that will mitigate flooding issues in the area, road improvements and a sign welcoming people to the city of Perris.

“This is something that the mayor’s really tried to push is we want Perris to be a place that people can live, work and play, and I know that’s a common phrase, but the work component of this is important too,” Hale said. “That’s an important part of what the mayor and the whole city council, their initiatives are here.”

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Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.

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