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Livermore - Downtown Specific Plan Implementation Services

Client: City of Livermore

FTS was retained by the City during and after Downtown Specific Plan work to review development submittals and provide design direction for proposals ranging from a cinemaplex and mixed-use developments to shops and townhomes.  Images below show the evolution of one storefront example from a former thrift store building to a new restaurant on First Street, the downtown's main street.

A Design Prototype illustration for a downtown mixed use building from the FTS-prepared Downtown Specific Plan.


An early challenge was the renovation of an existing First Street 1960’s building that housed a thrift store.

After the 1950’s, new uses and development types not part of Livermore’s traditional small town urban form and architectural character became increasingly evident in downtown.

Many newer developments were configured in an auto-oriented and set-back format.

Builders often used low-grade materials not sympathetic with adjacent brick and wood trimmed historic buildings.


  • Review the designs of “projects in the pipeline” with developers to ensure compliance with plan goals and emerging design controls.
  • After Plan adoption, provide on-call design assistance to City Staff to review submittals, provide guidance flexible guidance to achieve plan compliance and ensure the first projects set good examples.


  • Review work began during the Specific Plan with new large scale senior housing developments at downtown’s edges.
  • Following the Plan’s adoption in 2004, FTS was retained for two successive increments of on-call design review services.
  • Project types included multifamily housing (townhomes and apartments), mixed-use commercial buildings (offices above shops), a cinema complex, banks, medical buildings, restaurants, and renovations.
  • New infill buildings have been well regarded and considered a good fit with historic buildings.
  • Downtown Livermore received a 2009 Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust Main Street Center.

In collaboration with:

City of Livermore planning staff