Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Texas Street Downtown Attracts Professionals

Texas Street Downtown Attracts Professionals
By Nathan Halverson

FAIRFIELD - In his youth, Charles Wood III swept the downtown sidewalks in front of the McInnis Corner building - the current location of Tony's Gourmet Hot Dogs and Starbucks Coffee.

He now looks out over those same sidewalks as an attorney for a law firm with offices in downtown Fairfield on Texas Street.

Wood's return to Texas Street could be a parable for the overall return of business downtown. The area once attracted employers who offered mostly low- and middle-income jobs, but now it's attracting high-paid professionals such as Wood.

On Thursday, the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon-cutting for Wood's law firm, Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, and an accounting firm, Cavanaugh, Connor & Company. The firms will share office space at 724 Texas St.

The firms will employee a certified public accountant, two attorneys, a legal assistant and support staff in the Fairfield office. Both firms had previous locations in Fairfield.

"It's great. I like being on Texas Street," Wood said. "You can walk to court. You can walk to the county building. You can walk to good dining places for lunch."

Cavanaugh, Connor & Company had offices in Fairfield since 1980 until the firm closed its office in April 2005 to find a better location.

"We were looking for the right opportunity, and we were able to get into this space," said Denton Connor, partner in the accounting firm. "I really like what is happening downtown."

Both firms have been operating in the new space for several weeks. The ribbon-cutting is to symbolize the firms are now running at full capacity, Connor said.

Professional firms have long clustered around the county building and courthouse, but now many are being drawn to revitalized Texas Street, said Emily Low, program coordinator for the Fairfield Downtown Association.

The revitalization is a direct effort by the redevelopment agency for Fairfield and developers such as John Costanzo, who owns McInnis Corner and Stonefield Corner across the street.

Costanzo is developing Stonefield Corner to incorporate commercial condominiums for professionals such as doctors, lawyers and others. With condominiums, the professionals can own their office space and realize property appreciation rather than paying rent.

"I think if Mr. Costanzo is successful in getting his condos it will really draw legal professionals," Low said.

Solano County officials, city officials and Costanzo are working through negotiations for the property. The county owns the corner building on the site, while Costanzo owns the adjacent former bank building.

Reach Nathan Halverson at 425-4646 ext. 267 or

Info Box

Downtown ribbon cutting

Who: Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti, & Heppell law firm and Cavanaugh, Connor & Company accounting firm

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: 724 Texas St.

Cost: Free and open to the public

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