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Residents suggest development priorities for Ada

2:30 AM, Jul 25, 2013   |    comments
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ADA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Now that Amway owns another 22 acres of mostly riverfront land near their corporate headquarters in Ada, company and Downtown Development Authority leaders are asking the community for development suggestions.

"The strategy is revamp the village using as much feedback as possible from residents," explains Ada Township Clerk Susan Burton.

The Community Church in Ada is hosting open houses where residents can see the areas under discussion and offer input.

"It's so exciting that something is going to happen now," says resident Kathleen Small. "This is a wonderful community, but we need to keep up with the times."

People attending the open houses are offered blue, orange and pink "sticky notes" to attach onto large photographs of the village.

"The blue sticky notes are to indicate what you really like," explains landscape architect Bob Petco of Progressive AE. "The orange sticker means something could use improvement and pink means we don't like this. One of our primary goals is hear what the community has to say about their future vision of the village."

Ada leaders tried to make big changes 6 years ago, but property owners could not agree on the best way to proceed.

Amway's purchase of land near their corporate headquarters put prime township real estate under the control of one owner.

"Amway saw how we were struggling," says Burton. "Now that it's under one ownership if something needs to be done we can do it. People know some wonderful things are going to happen in this village. It won't happen for awhile, but down the road."

The second and final open house at The Community Church on Thornapple River Drive is Thursday July 25 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

After they compile the input, leaders will again meet with the community the week of September 3rd for a series of design workshops.

They will present various alternatives and let the community decide how to proceed with the redesign and redevelopment of Ada.

"I've been here 25 years and this is probably one of the more exciting projects I've been involved in," says Township Supervisor George Haga. "Bringing people into the village, walk ability of the community and making all of our businesses viable. This is quite exciting."

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