Jump to content

Village of Ada - Complete Makeover


joeDowntown

Recommended Posts

On 10/17/2019 at 4:22 PM, joeDowntown said:

Stop being such a curmudgeon (seriously). Your statement was wildly exaggerated, and I've talked to quite a few of these businesses that while it created a lot of stress and uncertainty, plenty would not choose to move back to their old location. Vitales is doing a booming business, Zeytin is much busier than it was in its old location (one of my faves), Heidi Christines, etc. etc.

I was simply pointing out that "most of the long standing businesses in Ada" have not been chased away.

I talked to a realtor that has had an office in Ada for years, had to move due to the landlord being greedy (one that didn't sell to Amway), and they are happier than . Upgraded their space, nicer offices (office landlords had to up their game a bit), vibrant area, new clients that point to the downtown as an additional selling point, etc.

Business isn't necessarily a friendly place. I thought the Van Andel's announcing an ice cream shop, etc. was a really lousy move, etc. But I've also heard a lot of positives from business owners.

Joe

Meh... I kinda enjoy being a curmudgeon.  We can’t all be Joey Blue Skies all the time.  Someone has to provide a bit of perspective every once in awhile.

Edited by wingbert
Link to comment
Share on other sites


9 minutes ago, wingbert said:

Meh... I kinda enjoy being a curmudgeon.  We can’t all be Joey Blue Skies all the time.  Someone has to provide a bit of perspective every once in awhile.

I mean I get it.   I think realistic perspectives are always needed, especially in a room full of cheerleaders.  Though it does seem to come across as if you're simply trying to get a reaction vs. state your opinion more often than not. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, MJLO said:

I mean I get it.   I think realistic perspectives are always needed, especially in a room full of cheerleaders.  Though it does seem to come across as if you're simply trying to get a reaction vs. state your opinion more often than not. 

@wingbert is a troll. Pure and simple. Just click on his name and look at the way he responds to nearly everything. I'm sorry that I try to stay positive, especially after we had a long discussion about not wanting Urban Planet to turn into another Mlive troll fest. 

There are plenty of times I start typing a snarky comment about a project (that provides no value) and then think, IS THIS NECESSARY?! I do indeed think that certain projects, or decisions need a good bludgeoning. And I do think a lot of people on this forum do a good job posting concerns or critiques, without sounding like they think everyone is dumb, they have a a superior intellect, etc. But I think you'd be negative if you saw a thread full of cute puppies (you probably don't like puppies either). 

You obviously have an axe to grind with me.  And have for a long time. :dontknow:

Joe

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

@wingbert is a troll. Pure and simple. Just click on his name and look at the way he responds to nearly everything. I'm sorry that I try to stay positive, especially after we had a long discussion about not wanting Urban Planet to turn into another Mlive troll fest. 

There are plenty of times I start typing a snarky comment about a project (that provides no value) and then think, IS THIS NECESSARY?! I do indeed think that certain projects, or decisions need a good bludgeoning. And I do think a lot of people on this forum do a good job posting concerns or critiques, without sounding like they think everyone is dumb, they have a a superior intellect, etc. But I think you'd be negative if you saw a thread full of cute puppies (you probably don't like puppies either). 

You obviously have an axe to grind with me.  And have for a long time. :dontknow:

Joe

I think you guys are good. I don't think people care that much either way about Ada. :)  

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you guys are good. I don't think people care that much either way about Ada.   
 
I think that about sums it up. My wife and I went hiking at Seidman Park this past summer and stopped in Ada for ice cream on the way back. The newness and the all-at-once development kinda creeped me out. However, It seemed pleasant and quaint and village-ey enough, and I'm glad it's there to provide a number of small-town food and shopping attractions. I kinda just lump it in with all the other massive urban-suburban town center-type projects that are proposed or happening across the country. They all make me go, "meh."

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
25 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

Owners of Luna opening a new restaurant in downtown Ada. I think the new downtown is going to be mostly a dining and drinking destination.  It really could use a good wine bar.

 

 

I've always thought a wine bar that did cheese, charcuterie, and wood fired pizza would do great in Ada. That way you could hit the pre-dinner, dinner, and post-dinner crowd. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Pattmost20 said:

I've always thought a wine bar that did cheese, charcuterie, and wood fired pizza would do great in Ada. That way you could hit the pre-dinner, dinner, and post-dinner crowd. 

Sounds like a plan! Agreed. Maybe in the ground floor of the new hotel, with the park right across the street. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • 2 weeks later...
53 minutes ago, GVSUChris said:

Love the renderings. I was in Ada the other day and it finally felt alive, people were walking around and spending their afternoon there. It'll be really cool to see everything come together in the next year or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, GVSUChris said:

"Ada House" might turn out be an unfortunate name for the hotel.  There was another Ada House out that way at one time.  It was a bordello that catered to an upper-class clientele.  It wasn’t right in the village but discreetly out in the township somewhere.  It was raided and shut down around 1969.  If you were around then maybe you remember it.  I was around then but wasn’t aware of it till it made the news.  After the raid I can remember hearing a conversation in the barbershop I frequented between barbers and customers where they said it had been running for years unmolested.  I wondered how they knew.   

When it was shutdown, a number of the clients were listed in the paper to their embarrassment.  I remember the year because this was around the time of the campaign to save the Grand Rapids City Hall, and people had bumper stickers that said “SAVE CITY HALL,” and some jokers printed up their own bumper stickers that said “SAVE ADA HOUSE.” 

Tried to quickly Google up some info on this just now but came up empty.  It was a big story in the Press at the time so if someone wants to do the research, they can likely find the details and the names if they want.            
 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, walker said:

"Ada House" might turn out be an unfortunate name for the hotel.  There was another Ada House out that way at one time.  It was a bordello that catered to an upper-class clientele.  It wasn’t right in the village but discreetly out in the township somewhere.  It was raided and shut down around 1969.  If you were around then maybe you remember it.  I was around then but wasn’t aware of it till it made the news.  After the raid I can remember hearing a conversation in the barbershop I frequented between barbers and customers where they said it had been running for years unmolested.  I wondered how they knew.   

When it was shutdown, a number of the clients were listed in the paper to their embarrassment.  I remember the year because this was around the time of the campaign to save the Grand Rapids City Hall, and people had bumper stickers that said “SAVE CITY HALL,” and some jokers printed up their own bumper stickers that said “SAVE ADA HOUSE.” 

Tried to quickly Google up some info on this just now but came up empty.  It was a big story in the Press at the time so if someone wants to do the research, they can likely find the details and the names if they want.            
 

Ha! That is funny. I also felt it strange that they used "rich" in the description. I don't know that they need to reinforce the stereotypes of the area. :)

Now about that wine bar....

Renders of the project:

1464805460_AdaHouse2.jpg.20a01ce1701fb8c4e2cd56f4c331a1ee.jpg

1385674781_AdaHouse1.jpg.ab6a233213a7d42a5fec1bc08caf268c.jpg

 

801173168_AdaHouselocation.thumb.jpg.dc9e0a98a687c48a5f90a5d9dada53d1.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That does look nice. Interesting to see Luna on the map as well. I was really surprised when they announced a hotel, and Amway wasn't the operator. Seems to make sense that they'd be the ones to put in a hotel (I'm also surprised it wouldn't be a bit bigger. Seems like a slam dunk with Amway across the street (perfect place for vendors to stay, I'm sure Amway will still hosts a lot of guests at the Amway Grand). 

I think the quote about the hotel being the same catalyst for Ada as Amway Grand was for downtown GR to be a little far-fetched though. 

I wonder if the owners of City Flats are trying to get out of the hotel game (contract furniture is their main business). They sold the Holland City Flats to Surburban Inns, and passed on this project... Interesting.

Joe

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I remember the Ada House. :) I was in college at the time. Note: I found out about it in the paper - I was not a customer :lol:. When I went to work in GR in 1972 I asked a couple of my coworkers (one was Asst Fire Chief in Ada at the time) where it was. "The white house in the woods" east of the bridge over the RR tracks - about the 4700 block of Fulton.  When M-21 was rebuilt in 1976, the house was removed when the divided highway was installed and the road moved south.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, Chisox said:

Just gonna ask if this was a T.O.D in the suburbs. 

if T.O.D. means Transit Oriented Development then the answer is no.  The new village development does have some of the elements of T.O.D. design such as walkability, compactness, and mixed uses, but importantly the transit piece  is missing (despite the nearby railroad track.)   

T.O.D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, walker said:

if T.O.D. means Transit Oriented Development then the answer is no.  The new village development does have some of the elements of T.O.D. design such as walkability, compactness, and mixed uses, but importantly the transit piece  is missing (despite the nearby railroad track.)   

T.O.D.

I visited Ada this past summer asking myself where the commuter line station was. Its got a lot going for it, the river, the village, the topography, etc.. all comes together for a great memorable space. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Chisox said:

I visited Ada this past summer asking myself where the commuter line station was. Its got a lot going for it, the river, the village, the topography, etc.. all comes together for a great memorable space. 

I toyed around with some sketches for doing a commuter rail line on that railroad track, many years back on here. Downside to that rail line is that it shoots way North up toward Leonard and North Division/Plainfield, and the line going into downtown from there is abandoned. If you're on I-196 around College you go over it. Not conducive to a central train station. But yes Ada reminds me of many of the commuter rail CTA cities in Chicagoland. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

I toyed around with some sketches for doing a commuter rail line on that railroad track, many years back on here. Downside to that rail line is that it shoots way North up toward Leonard and North Division/Plainfield, and the line going into downtown from there is abandoned. If you're on I-196 around College you go over it. Not conducive to a central train station. But yes Ada reminds me of many of the commuter rail CTA cities in Chicagoland. 

Interesting. 

Years ago, I actually had conversations with a director at a railroad transportation advisory group here in Chicago. At the time he said that they were in Grand Rapids fact finding and watching closely, because they believed that while the Grand Rapids area was sub 1 million at the time, that the city and region should start planning in how it would react to demand for commuter style transportation. I think the vision was a Metra style link from the lakeshore suburbs to downtown. It sounded like they had discussed where things may go, costs, public engagement, relationship building in the private sector, etc. It sounded like an organic private sector answer than a top down government master plan. I do know the C suite at this nonprofit had quite a bit of data for their reasoning and they had some high level railroad executives advising on how to move forward. I don't know much more than that.

I think this was about 2002-2003, but I wouldn't be surprised if things fizzled out during the great recession.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Chisox said:

Interesting. 

Years ago, I actually had conversations with a director at a railroad transportation advisory group here in Chicago. At the time he said that they were in Grand Rapids fact finding and watching closely, because they believed that while the Grand Rapids area was sub 1 million at the time, that the city and region should start planning in how it would react to demand for commuter style transportation. I think the vision was a Metra style link from the lakeshore suburbs to downtown. It sounded like they had discussed where things may go, costs, public engagement, relationship building in the private sector, etc. It sounded like an organic private sector answer than a top down government master plan. I do know the C suite at this nonprofit had quite a bit of data for their reasoning and they had some high level railroad executives advising on how to move forward. I don't know much more than that.

I think this was about 2002-2003, but I wouldn't be surprised if things fizzled out during the great recession.

Interesting. A bunch of us kicked around some ideas of a commuter rail service, even trying to get a train manufacturer to set up a demo here. Way back, I don't remember how long ago, but the threads are still here somewhere in this UP-GR section. We looked at the Comstock Park to downtown rail line I believe as one idea, with a station by LMD/Winter Ave where the rail line crosses LMD (by Ferris Coffee)

One system we looked at for inspiration was the Ottawa O-Train, which has diesel trains instead of needing overhead electric wires.  They can run on shared "modified/improved" cargo train tracks. With mixed success though as cargo trains get priority. 

https://www.worldconstructionnetwork.com/news/transitnext-selected-for-trillium-light-rail-extension-project-in-canada

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

Interesting. A bunch of us kicked around some ideas of a commuter rail service, even trying to get a train manufacturer to set up a demo here. Way back, I don't remember how long ago, but the threads are still here somewhere in this UP-GR section. We looked at the Comstock Park to downtown rail line I believe as one idea, with a station by LMD/Winter Ave where the rail line crosses LMD (by Ferris Coffee)

One system we looked at for inspiration was the Ottawa O-Train, which has diesel trains instead of needing overhead electric wires.  They can run on shared "modified/improved" cargo train tracks. With mixed success though as cargo trains get priority. 

https://www.worldconstructionnetwork.com/news/transitnext-selected-for-trillium-light-rail-extension-project-in-canada

Yes we did. We had a friendly RR north of town that wasn't anti passenger service.  We looked at a Sparta - Bridge St service. We proposed a quick and dirty startup to see if folks would use the service. Now that RR is owned by a "Not on our RR" company that also owns the RR to the east.  CSX doesn't want passenger w/o a lot of money which is why Holland to GR service discussion is a joke. The owner of RR to the south is supposedly receptive but NB 131 functions pretty decent in the morning as opposed to SB 131 from Rockford to downtown. You can't get folks to ride commuter rail until travel time and lack of downtown parking attract them. IMHO metro GR isn't even close to having that demand. The Silver Line would be standing room only if that was the case.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Raildudes dad said:

Yes we did. We had a friendly RR north of town that wasn't anti passenger service.  We looked at a Sparta - Bridge St service. We proposed a quick and dirty startup to see if folks would use the service. Now that RR is owned by a "Not on our RR" company that also owns the RR to the east.  CSX doesn't want passenger w/o a lot of money which is why Holland to GR service discussion is a joke. The owner of RR to the south is supposedly receptive but NB 131 functions pretty decent in the morning as opposed to SB 131 from Rockford to downtown. You can't get folks to ride commuter rail until travel time and lack of downtown parking attract them. IMHO metro GR isn't even close to having that demand. The Silver Line would be standing room only if that was the case.

Good points

The people who were at the helm were industry professionals and representatives of the railroads. I don't know enough about the rail industry and it's attitude towards public or private use of it's infrastructure, but what I do find interesting is that they wanted to be included. That's a topic for another day.

With the huge political and social pressure (climate change) to make available more efficient and higher quality transportation modes I don't see it unfeasible or unwanted to at least put in place a framework to encourage it when the time comes. With people cheerleading grand rapids to grow downtown and it's self promotion as a green place it only seems prudent to plan on walking the walk or else they just look to be aggrandizing. Given that these corridors probably had mass transit before the shift to cars was made makes it even more sense if there's a shift away from cars as downtown becomes harder to get to and more job dense.

In my short time in GR as a choice rider of the SL for a year they had to add busses right behind one another to accommodate rush hour.  This was between 2018-2019 so I don't know what ridership was like beforehand. Some riders I had conversations with were choice riders at Park and rides who made the shift when their employer provided incentives to not park downtown. The southbound busses at 5pm-6pm were always near packed and probably 2-3 days standing room with blue shirts. I boarded the northbound SL at 5:30a at E. 60th st and it was consistently 3-4 people boarding with probably 2-3 riders already on. I don't know what 8-9a boardings looked like. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.