Sun City, Menifee, California
Sun City is a former census-designated place (CDP) in Riverside County, California, United States. Along with the neighboring communities of Quail Valley and Menifee, it was incorporated as the City of Menifee on October 1, 2008. The population when Sun City was a CDP was 17,773 at the 2000 census. Sun City is located along Interstate 215 just south of the city of Perris.
Sun City is a master-planned community for senior citizens over age 55. The four-square-mile residential community has one public golf course, two recreation centers with tennis courts and swimming pools, and a commercial center of supermarkets and small retail shops for local resident consumers.
Originally built in 1960, it was one of four "Sun Cities" designed by Del Webb who later created retirement communities in Arizona, Nevada and Florida in the 1970s and 1980s. The Del Webb company opened Sun City Palm Desert east of Palm Springs in 1991.
Another development boom arrived in the late 1980s and 1990s with Menifee as another master-planned community on the southeast edge of Sun City, and as of 2005, the one-square-mile area of homes, condos, schools, retail shops, golf courses and tennis courts continued to grow.
Menifee Global Medical Center, formerly known as, Menifee Valley Medical Center, located east of Interstate 215 on McCall Boulevard, is a General Acute Care Hospital east of Sun City with Basic Emergency Services. The medical facility also offers alcohol and drug detox services.
Sun City had its origin in what is known as the Menifee Valley/Paloma Valley. Until 1957, there was little change in this rural grassland valley with very few people. That year, Richard Rand, a land developer who hoped to promote a planned community called Ransdale, purchased the Newport Ranch. A small motel and office were as far as his plans progressed, but Webb would arrive in 1959. He started looking for reasonable priced land in Southern California to develop another Sun City. Webb started buying large parcels from Rand and other farmers in Menifee Valley. He ended up buying 14,000 acres from Scott Road north to Ethanac for $500-$900 an acre. Grading started in December 1961 for opening six months later. Upon opening, 100,000 visitors would see places such as the motel The Kings Inn and the Civic Center, which resulted in 272 homes sold three days south of the former, for which a shopping center would open near it one month later. Further developments came around in the year such as the first church with United Church Sun City, which opened up in Webb Hall of Sun City Civic Association along side a Greek outdoor theatre.
Further developments came across with gas stations from Union 76 and Texaco the following year alongside expansion of the Inn to go with banks such as Security First National and Bank of America. By 1965, the town had 5,000 residents. In 1967, US Highway 395 Freeway is completed south from Ethanac to just south of the McCall Blvd exit in Sun City, which replaced the Antelope Road Hwy 395, while roads such as Bradley Road would be extended. The current Sun City Gardens Retirement Community is built on the south side of town at 28500 Bradley Rd. A brick medical building opens nearby at 28401 Bradley Rd. The first mobile home park on the east side of the freeway begins construction and will become Bel Air Mobile Estates. By the end of the decade, the entire Sun City Civic Association, including the swimming pool, Greek theatre, and other amenities, were completed.
1970: A Mobil Gas Station opens at 26820 McCall Blvd. Sometime later in the 1970s, a Union 76 opens on the east side of the freeway at 27180 McCall Blvd. Along Encanto Drive, near Romoland, a frontage road running alongside the east side of US Hwy 395 freeway, the Evans-Brown Mortuary, Canyon Ford Dealership, Sun City Convalescent Hospital, Sun City Medical Clinic, and Sun City Ambulance Service is built. These business structures are still here today as different things. Also, next to the freeway, along Encanto drive, near McCall, was built some businesses, including an HR Block, a florist, and a moving company. These would close after the 1990s, and all be bulldozed in 2006 and 2015. Population is now 5,519.
1971: The first homes in Sun City on the east side of US Hwy 395 freeway are built on Encanto Drive.
1974: Del Webb dies.
1975: A 2nd golf course under the DeWebb Corp, the North Golf Course, opens at 26660 McCall Blvd for a 42 year run. The Bel Air Strip Plaza is built along the frontage road (Encanto Drive) alongside the freeway.
1976: United California Bank opens at 27385 Sun City Blvd (Where current Wells Fargo at 27386 is today).
1977: Three more smaller structures added to north side of original Sun City Shopping Center for more stores.
1978: A fire burns down the restaurant of the Kings Inn and the inn begins a steady decline. It becomes a blighted eyesore. Provident Bank opens at 27010 Sun City Blvd and is still there today. Bob's Big Boy opens at the freeway at 27990 Bradley Road. McDonalds opens next door at 28000 Bradley Road as the first fast food restaurant in town. Sun City News opens its new building at 27070 Sun City Blvd. Coast Federal Savings & Loan opens at 27190 Sun City Blvd. A 2nd supermarket in town, Safeway, is built at 27350 Sun City Blvd. Exxon opens at 26771 McCall Blvd. A Masonic Lodge opens next to the CalTex Gas Station at 27221 McCall Blvd on the east side of the freeway. The Sun City Bowl is built just east of the freeway at 27400 McCall Blvd.
1979: The current Stater Brothers Supermarket is built on the west side of the original shopping plaza at 27160 Sun City Blvd as the 3rd supermarket in Sun City. A forth structure is added to the NE Side of original Sun City Shopping Center for more stores.
1980: Imperial Savings Bank opens at 26960 Cherry Hills Blvd. Population is now 8,460.
1981: A 4th supermarket, a newer Safeway, is built at 27220 Sun City Blvd. It replaces the three-year-old Safeway just a couple hundred yards to the north, and that location converts to Sprouse-Reitz, as it moves from its original location at 26932 Cherry Hills Blvd.
1982: In 9 pieces, in 9 separate moves early in the morning, all the remnants of the old Kings Inn is moved to the opposite side of the freeway to 27680 Encanto Drive to begin as the new Sun City Motel. Still a motel today. By this point, the Bob's Big Boy is out of business and sits vacant on Bradley. Construction begins on a small strip plaza at McCall Blvd & Murrieta for an opening in 1983. The old Arco Station at the NW Corner of McCall & Sun City Blvd, which had been the Sun City Car Wash in recent years, is bulldozed to make way for a new bank. Alicia's Mexican at 26750 Blvd is closed and slated to be bulldozed for another bank. It had been a Tastee Freez built in the 1970s.
1983: Valley Bank opens at 26670 McCall Blvd (former site of the old Arco) for a 26 year span. Another building is added between the Sprouse-Reitz and Safeway to house a donut shop and other businesses.
1985: The two story Bradley Medical Building is added to the east side of the original Sun City Shopping Center.
1986: The old Sun City Shell station is remodeled.
1987: United Church Sun City adds a East Wing Building. A series of apartment complexes begin to be built on Encanto Drive on the east side of the freeway.
1988: The Safeway at 27220 Sun City Blvd converts to the current Vons Supermarket. The original Standard Station is remodeled.
1989: The old Bobs at 27990 Bradley Road is reopened as Allie's Restaurant.
1990: Population is 14,390. A small strip plaza opens next to McDonalds at 27994 Bradley Rd. A Wendys and Super 8 Motel are built on the east side of the freeway McCall Blvd offramp.
1992: Allie's Restaurant at 27990 Bradley Road is converted to the current CoCo's Restaurant. Zip Code 92585, which had been Sun City, is now Romoland.
1994: The expanding Sun City Library takes over the former Security Pacific Bank at 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd. The Sprouse-Reitz closes at 27350 Sun City Blvd and becomes Thrifty Drugstore.
1996: Thrifty Drugstore at 27350 Sun City Blvd becomes current Rite Aid.
New millennium (2000s-present)
By the time of 2000, the population is 17,773 people.
2001: The old abandoned Sun City Bowl is converted to a U-Haul Center.
2003: Walgreens built on site of razed gas station, an Exxon that had existed since 1978 at 26771 McCall Blvd.
2007: The old Union 76 Gas Station, on east side of Interstate 215 McCall exit, is bulldozed at 27180 McCall Blvd.
2008: The old bank building housing the Sun City Library is demolished at 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd with a new library on site to open in 2009. The old Mobil at 26820 McCall now sits abandoned and will for many more years. The City of Menifee is incorporated as a new city through the acquisition of Menifee, Sun City, Romoland, and Quail Lake. At its time of acquisition, Sun City was already pushing 20,000 people.
2009: The old Valley Bank closes after 26 years and is converted into a gym.
2017: The North Golf Course closes amongst a brown landscape and old infrastructure after 42 years. The United Church Sun City is now renamed the View Church. A new fire station, Riverside County City of Menifee, opens at 28349 Bradley Rd.
2018: The old Valley Bank Bldg bulldozed at 26670 McCall Blvd to make room for a new Jack-in-the-Box.
2019: The tall Union 76 Gas Station sign on east side of the Interstate 215 on McCall finally gets pulled down, many years after the old gas station had been bulldozed.
Mayfair Market located at 26928 Cherry Hill Blvd. in Sun City,CA.. The building is currently sub-divided between an urgent care facility and a subway restaurant. After Mayfair in the mid 1970s the building spent a number of years occupied by a Thrifty Drug Store before becoming sub-divided into its current state. The Irene Fashion Store located to the left of the Mayfair Market is currently occupied by an independently owned cafe operating under the name YoJo Frozen Yogurt and Coffee.
Notable longstanding businesses
- Kings Inn 26901 Cherry Hills Blvd 1962-1982
- Bank of America 26800 Cherry Hills Blvd 1965-(55 years in business)
- Union 76 (First gas station in Sun City) 26980 Cherry Hills Blvd 1962-2000s (Bulldozed 2008)
- Security Nat'l/Pacific Bank 26982 Cherry Hills Blvd 1964-1994 (Bulldozed 2008)
- Provident Bank 27010 Sun City Blvd 1978-(42 years in business)
- CoCo's Restaurant 27990 Bradley Road 1992-(28 years in business)
- McDonalds 28000 Bradley Road 1978-(42 years in business)
- Stater Brothers Supermarket 27160 Sun City Blvd 1979-(41 years in business)
- Launderland 27162 Sun City Blvd 1983-(37 years in business)
- Jacky's Donut Hut 27388 Sun City Blvd 1983-(37 years in business)
- Sprouse-Reitz 26932 Cherry Hills Blvd/27350 Sun City Blvd 1962-1994
- Exxon 26771 McCall Blvd 1978-2003 (Bulldozed)
- Vons 27220 Sun City Blvd 1988-(32 years in business)
- Sun City Post Office 26822 Cherry Hills Blvd 1968-(52 years in business)
- Valley Bank 26670 McCall Blvd 1983-2009 (Bulldozed 2018)
- North Golf Course 26660 McCall Blvd 1975-2017
- Cherry Hills Golf Course 26583 Cherry Hills Blvd 1963-(57 years)
- United Church Sun City 26701 McCall Blvd 1962-2017
- Sun City Gardens Retirement Home 28500 Bradley Rd 1967-(53 years in business)
- Sun City Shell Station 26730 McCall Blvd 1966-2003 (37 years)
- Sun City Chevron 26980 McCall Blvd 1966-(54 years in business)
- Evans-Brown Mortuary 27010 Encanto Drive 1970-(50 years in business)
- Bel Air Mobile Estates 27150 Shadel Road 1967-(53 years)
- Wendys 27925 Encanto Drive 1990-(30 years)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 7.8 square miles (20.2 km2), all of it land.
The climate in this area is described by the Köppen Climate Classification System as "dry-summer subtropical" often referred to as "Mediterranean" and abbreviated as Csa.
|Climate data for Sun City, California|
|Average high °F (°C)||69
|Average low °F (°C)||36
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.7
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,773 people, 8,750 households, and 5,197 families residing in the community when it was still a CDP. The population density was 2,280.0 people per square mile (879.8/km2). There were 9,440 housing units at an average density of 1,211.0 per square mile (467.3/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 89.63% White, 2.13% African American, 0.51% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 4.11% from other races, and 2.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.31% of the population.
There were 8,750 households, out of which 12.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.6% were non-families. 37.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 31.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.99 and the average family size was 2.57.
In the CDP the population was spread out, with 14.2% under the age of 18, 2.6% from 18 to 24, 13.2% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 51.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 66 years. For every 100 females there were 78.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.9 males. Sun City is renowned for a large senior citizen population, most of them are white non-Hispanic Americans. Sun City has multiple ethnic ancestral groups and the area has a sizable American Jewish community.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $29,814, and the median income for a family was $38,131. Males had a median income of $41,174 versus $29,036 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $19,859. About 6.0% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.
In the California State Legislature, Sun City is in the 23rd Senate District, represented by Republican Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, and in the 67th Assembly District, represented by Republican Kelly Seyarto.
- California Department of Health Services
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Weather.com". Weatherchannel. 2013. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved January 3, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "California's 42nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.