FAIRFIELD — The city’s new senior economic development project manager says Santa Cruz, where he served as a planning commissioner, revitalized its downtown after a movie theater opened.
“It was phenomenally successful,” Bryan Briggs said of the coastal city’s downtown revitalization.
The theater opening followed beautiful buildings and a new infrastructure that still hadn’t attracted shoppers, he said. The multi-screen moviehouse served as an anchor that turned downtown around, Briggs said.
Theaters are crucial because they help bring families downtown and introduce residents to shops and other attractions, he said. Redwood City in San Mateo County also boosted its downtown when a movie theater was built, Briggs said.
He said he’s still learning about downtown Fairfield and declined to comment on how to revitalize the central business district here.
Briggs, who was a planning commissioner in Santa Cruz from 1996-2002, said redevelopment helped revitalize downtown but the loss of that tool doesn’t doom downtowns.
“It doesn’t mean you can’t get it done,” he said.
Moreover, a movie theater isn’t the only attraction that anchor a downtown, Briggs said.
Interest in Santa Cruz development was strong, he added, noting spillover crowds attending planning commission meetings that sometimes didn’t end until 2 a.m.
Briggs, began his career in the Planning Department for the city of Santa Clara and then worked in the Central Valley city of Ceres and the Monterey Bay area cities of Hollister, Salinas and Marina. He said Fairfield seems to be a mix of the Central Valley with its agricultural land – and the Bay Area because of offices and industry here.
Fairfield’s history helps the city, Briggs added.
“There’s quite a bit to build on,” he said.
He has a law degree from Santa Clara University, a master’s in urban planning and regional development from California State University, San Jose and holds a real estate broker’s license.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.