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Livermore - First Street Improvements and Plaza Design

Client: City of Livermore

The First Street streetscape project was the keystone capital improvement project recommended as part of the Downtown Specific Plan prepared by FTS. The design incorporates elements of Livermore’s winery, working ranch, and garden character into an integrated downtown streetscape composition in order to transform a former state highway into a special pedestrian street with outdoor eating, increased amenities, and a new town green at its historic crossroads.

Wisteria-clad trellises and flexible parking/dining zones are combined with decorative pedestrian-scale street lighting.
 

Before

The existing wide street section and heavy through-traffic discouraged pedestrian-oriented activity.

  • First Street within Downtown Livermore was a 1/3-mile long, 4 lane arterial with parallel parking within a 93’ wide right-of-way.
  • Formerly as State Route 84, First Street was a major truck route with heavy through-traffic.
  • Previous streetscape improvements were unable to change the street's auto-dominated character, thus continuing to impede downtown success.

Assignment

  • Exploit the relocation of the State Highway designation away from First Street and transform the oversized right-of-way into an amenity-rich downtown Main Street.
  • Create a pedestrian-friendly streetscape environment appropriate to support a revitalized downtown economy.
  • Set the stage for a revitalized downtown core that functions as an arts and entertainment district and creates an improved setting for outdoor dining and special community events.

Outcomes

Built

  • Construction was completed in March 2006, on time and under budget.
  • Following First Street's completion, significant new private investments have been made including downtown housing; Livermore Valley Plaza, a major mixed-use retail and office complex; a regional theater: a high profile multi-screen movie theater; new retail and restaurant buildings; and many tenants in both new and old spaces.
  • Numerous eating and drinking establishments have created sidewalk and "flexible zone" cafés on First Street, contributing to a lively public realm both day and evening throughout the week.
  • The project has been recognized with a 2007 Award of Excellence from the California Redevelopment Agency under the Public Space and Linkages Category and a 2009 Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In collaboration with:

City of Livermore Engineering, SFE Landscape Architects, Zeiger Engineers, Kahn Design Associates