Economic Development, Government, and Real Estate

Amway commits to invest in Ada Village development

September 5, 2014
| By Pete Daly |
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The means of funding the planned $13 million redevelopment of Ada Village will be introduced to the public tonight by the township board and Ada Downtown Development Authority.

The proposed plan for funding the investment in public facilities and infrastructure in the village will combine $6.5 million in township investment with a commitment from Amway to invest $3.5 million in the improvements.

A joint announcement by the township and DDA states that Amway also would assume a leadership role in a fundraising effort to raise an additional $3 million in private contributions. The planned improvements are expected to be made in phases to support an estimated $70 million in private investment that will take place in new commercial, residential and mixed use development.

A planning process that started last year led to the new vision for Ada, including new retail, residential and public spaces, along with an accessible riverfront. More than 1,200 Ada residents participated and others contributed thoughts and ideas on the project’s Facebook page and its website, envisionada.com.

“This public meeting will once again allow us to introduce how the citizens have envisioned the village, and how the township can begin to phase-in the plan with proposed financing,” said George Haga, Ada Township supervisor.

“We have sought to engage the public and solicit input at each step of the process, to illuminate the importance of a vibrant village with ongoing economic development, additional housing within the village, and new public spaces and places for people to enjoy,” said Bob Kullgren, DDA chairman.

The plan includes streets and adjacent public space designed for efficient traffic flow while also being safe for bikes and pedestrians. There would be development of community spaces to support public events and activities, such as the Farmers Market between Headley and Fulton streets.

There would be common green space in the center of the village and on the Thornapple River, including a small outdoor performance area.

Proposed funding sources include $1 million from the township fund balances; $5.25 million in capital improvement bonds; state and federal grants for riverfront and public park improvements figured at $250,000; a DDA millage of 1.5 mills generating $330,000 in the first year (most of it assessed on Amway properties); plus the Amway commitment of $3.5 million.

Amway executive Bill Payne will take the lead in helping the township and DDA attract more support for the project.

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