ADA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Designers are offering a first look at plans to help reinvent the village of Ada. The village will use land, currently occupied by a strip mall, to create what officials hope will become a destination for visitors.
Peter Lazdins is with Progressive, one of the two companies that helped design the plan. The small community, home to Amway, already has some businesses and a downtown area. It also sits along the Thornapple River, but most of the waterfront isn't used.
"The idea is to begin to connect all of these areas with a walkability system of sidewalks as well as bike paths," says Lazdins. "Then we heard from people, this is very important to residents that we've turned our backs on the river. Let's open that up to the village itself."
The plans were unveiled to a large crowd. Many of them have given the village input on what they would like to see.
Jerry and Beth Bronkema want Ada to be a destination for the 4,500 Amway employees that work right across the street. They also want is to be a destination for tourists. "We live in Ada, we often go to Rockford for dinner. We think it would be nice for people in Rockford to come here. We like kayaking, music, a micro-brewery, someplace where people gather."
"You're going to see streets moved, increased parking, a boardwalk, an amphitheater, an idea for a farm market, community center, and retail as well," says Lazdins. He says the plans are likely to change a bit, but if all goes well, the first phase of the project could be underway within the next year or two.