“Downtown is the heart of any town.” – Roy Moosa
Every town needs someone like Roy Moosa. The owner and broker of Sun Realty since 1995, he’s also involved in volunteer groups – mainly as a leader. He heads up the Fallbrook Revitalization Council, is president of the Fallbrook Village Association, president of Fallbrook Historical Society, and president of the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club. Moosa is also an elected member of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group and serves at second vice chair. (The members of this group are advisors to the administrators of the County of San Diego.)
“When you become part of the community, and are downtown, you see things every day, and you tend to care about what is going on around you,” Moosa commented.
That community spirit brought him to a place where he realized the tremendous potential that lies in Fallbrook’s downtown area, and he was compelled to do something about it.
“Let’s sell what we have,” said Moosa. “What we have is the charm of small town America. If you want to go to a small town that looks like it’s something out of the 1950s, and go to an Art Center, an antique store, have lunch at a café, this is the place to come to. That’s what I feel we have to sell. The Fallbrook Village Association’s main purpose is to revitalize Fallbrook – physically, culturally and economically.”
Moosa said he gives the Fallbrook Village Association a lot of credit because it is responsible for the Village Square and Jackie Heyneman Park, and it is currently working on a plan for a temporary event venue called “Library Plaza.” The goal is to utilize the library parking lot as a venue for special events. One of the ideas is to host a street fair similar to the Oceanside Sunset Market Street Fair.
The Fallbrook Village Association took over the running of Fallbrook Summer Nights about three years ago, and, because their volunteer staff had diminished, they were only able to host three events last year. However, this year, due to increased interest, they have plans for six events.
The first two Fallbrook Summer Nights will be held in the Village Square, and will consist of beer, wine and music. The third event will be held in the library parking lot only and will feature a full carnival along with a beer, wine and music area.
“We are trying to show the public what can be done there [library parking lot],” said Moosa.
The last three events will be held downtown with a full street closure and vendors positioned in the street. Vintage cars and a military tribute are also slated.
Moosa is of the opinion that if people know the history of a town, they will more fully appreciate it. He related a story of a presentation he once gave. Moosa showed the audience an ordinary pocket watch and asked them how much they thought it was worth. People responded with amounts of $10, $20 and $30. Then, he said, “What if I tell you that this is the watch that Abraham Lincoln wore when he was shot – now how much do you think it is worth?” The audience responded with “Thousands, or, “You can’t put a price on it.” Moosa commented, “It is the same watch, nothing has changed except your perception. That’s what history does. When the watch has history, its value suddenly skyrockets.”
Moosa is trying to make the same point with his focus on Fallbrook’s history.
“If people know the history, then their perception of downtown will change,” he noted, “they will respect it more.”
The Fallbrook Village Association is also working on plans for what are called “pocket parks” (the term for a small park). Moosa said the parks will make downtown more of an “experience” for people. One such park would be a Railroad Heritage Park built at Main and Elder, near Faro Trupiano’s 127 West Social House restaurant (which is currently undergoing repairs.)
“This will not interfere with Trupiano’s business, or his parking, but will be built outside of the white fence,” Moosa said.
“Main and Elder is an area where the railroad tracks crossed Main Street on the way to the train station,” Moosa explained.
The group is planning a possible 10-by-20 replica of the train station that would serve a dual purpose as a welcome center and an historical information site. Ideas include the possible purchase of a train caboose.
“There are different things that you can do with a caboose,” Moosa noted. They could possibly sell ice cream, or offer historical information.
Of course county approval would be needed; and they would also pursue a county grant. These are all drawing board dreams, at this point.
Moosa believes that if downtown Fallbrook is made a destination, through special events and permanent parks, then it will attract more businesses to the area.
“It takes commitment, it takes time, and it takes money, but it benefits everybody,” he said.