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Livermore - Downtown Specific Plan

Client: City of Livermore

This Specific Plan orchestrates all public and private investment toward the revitalization of Downtown. It begins with the transformation of the city’s historic main street from a disinvested state highway strip into its historic role as the central shopping district. The Plan's policies shape a pedestrian-oriented retail core along the redesigned main street, a framework for an exciting new arts and entertainment district, and downtown neighborhoods of new infill housing units within a short walk to transit and services.  Since its adoption, it has had a dramatic and positive effect on the downtown.

This rendering of the revitalized core helped the community to envision the future revitalized district.
 

Before

First Street, Downtown Livermore's Main Street, before implementation of the Downtown Specific Plan.

  • Downtown Livermore declined in the late 20th Century as rapid office, commercial and residential development sprawled in outlying areas.
  • First Street, the downtown's main street, had been configured as a 4 lane state highway, limiting its visitor appeal.
  • There were few downtown residents.
  • The charm of downtown's historic buildings and walkable street grid still remained compelling for the community.
  • Downtown's identity and economy were not strongly linked to the many wineries at the city's edges and beyond.

Assignment

  • Guide downtown growth and development clear and implementable policies.
  • Educate downtown stakeholders on controls and tradeoffs to preserve and strengthen place character.
  • Encourage place-based economic revitalization and create a lively city center.

Outcomes

Adopted 

  • Many elements of the Plan have been built.
  • First Street has been transformed into a 2 lane pedestrian-friendly street with flexible parking/dining areas; a new town green, Flagpole Plaza, was also created. Both FTS designs were completed in early 2006.
  • Downtown now plays a strong role in the city's visitor economy by creating a memorable setting that hosts new restaurants, tasting rooms, storefront shopping, live music and performing arts venues.
  • Downtown's draw has a positive effect on Livermore's high-tech economy anchored by the Livermore Labs, including hosting of a downtown business incubator.
  • The plan has created clear regulations that have sustained its place quality while bringing in new downtown residents, businesses, and mixed-use development.
  • The City of Livermore received a Comprehensive Planning Award from the Northern California Chapter of the APA in recognition of its downtown and other planning efforts.
  • The First Street Streetscape received the 2007 California Redevelopment Association award for Public Spaces and Linkages.
  • Downtown Livermore was recognized with a 2009 Great American Main Street award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In collaboration with:

The Concord Group, Meyer Mohaddes Associates, Inc., Carey & Company, JR Engineering, Inc., LSA Associates Inc.