Retail anchor opens in new downtown Ada

Kingma's Market, Ada Township
Customers check out at the new Kingma's Market in Ada Township. (Sept. 11, 2017)

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) —  Shoppers crowded the aisles of the new Kingma’s Market in Ada Monday, picking up fresh-milled oats and wild-caught jumbo crab legs.

“Upward of 50 percent of everything we sell is local and a lot of it (is) delivered direct from the farmer, orchard,” owner Alan Hartline said.

Kingma’s, a longtime staple grocer on Plainfield Avenue on Grand Rapids’ north side, has ventured to the suburbs.

“There was a major plan to overhaul the downtown Ada marketplace. They were looking for an anchor — a supermarket,” Hartline explained. “And it was the No. 1 need in the community as they did that survey.”

Ada has always had that quaint, small-town feel. Ada Drive, the main drag through the community, is lined with small shops and restaurants.

But in 2006, some of the locals began to question the future of the area. Over the next few years, there was a lot of talk and planning about development of Ada Village. The goal was to get a corporate partner to chip in, but there was no money for the private portion of the project.

Enter Amway Corporation in 2012. The company, which is headquartered in Ada Township, is the private participant in the public-private partnership.

As part of the multi-year project, retail and office space has been built along Ada Drive north of the current shopping district.

“And a little residential will be starting to creep up on us here, too,” Township Supervisor George Haga said.

Amway has invested millions in buildings that house the retail, office and residential space.

Ada has spent $13 million in improvements to streets and other infrastructure and plans to spend another $7 million for park space and, eventually, a community center.

“I think this is a great example of the workings of a private-public partnership project, particularly for the little village of Ada,” Haga said.