2003 - New homes near Hemet (RXSQ)

Growing young

Thanks to tens of thousands of retirees, most of whom flocked to the area during the 1960s through the 1980s, Hemet once had one of the highest savings account averages in California:

… Because of the large number of retirees who move to Hemet — with their savings accounts — the town has 24 savings and loan banks and one of the highest savings account average dollar value in the state …

Riverside Press-Enterprise – July 1, 1983

And although the number of banks — and retirees — has since lessened, the city has recently become a hot spot of a different sort.

As with much of Inland Southern California, homebuyers are quickly snapping up new homes sprouting up throughout the San Jacinto Valley. The influx is quickly transforming the area’s demographics into a younger, more affluent population, one which has caught the attention of national retail and dining establishments:

When Applebee’s was looking to expand a few years ago, executive Jim O’Keefe considered a number of cities that could host the latest addition to the popular casual dining restaurant chain.

Among those considered, a small city named Hemet kept scoring high on criteria such as growth, demographics, transportation and household income.

A year-and-a half later, the newest Applebee’s opened on Florida Avenue in Hemet, a location that O’Keefe said has become one of the chain’s most profitable.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – December 25, 2005

In the past few years, Hemet has seen, or will soon see, the opening of Office Depot, Applebees, Chili’s, Petco, PetSmart, LA Fitness as well as multiple Starbucks — outlets long absent within the San Jacinto Valley:

“You see increased varieties of places to shop, including some of the bigger retail stores,” said Dan Puleo, who added the city still could use a bigger mall and a major electronics store such as Best Buy or Circuit City.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – December 25, 2005

With the influx of new developments has come the inevitable increase in traffic. But it has also increased the city’s sales tax coffers. City figures show that Hemet’s sales tax revenue increased from $7.3 million in 2002 to $10 million today. That translates into extra money for the city’s roads, parks, and public safety programs.

Indeed, today’s Hemet is not the Hemet of your grandfather (or grandmother).


  • Riverside Press-Enterprise – Chain reaction: Franchises battle for spots amid shifting demographics (Dec. 25)

Sources: Riverside Press-Enterprise (PE-19830411, PE-19850701, PE-20051225)

2024 PAGE UPDATE: Added newspaper citation/insert; expanded and added clarity to savings account average; removed outdated links to newspaper article.

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