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Hazel Park, Michigan
—  City  —
Motto: "The Friendly City"
Location in the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 42°27′45″N 83°06′15″W / 42.4625°N 83.10417°W / 42.4625; -83.10417
Country United States
State Michigan
County Oakland
Incorporated 1941
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Jack Lloyd
 - City Manager Edward Klobucher
Sharon Pinch
 - City 2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2)
 - Land 2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 630 ft (192 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 18,963
 Density 6,724.4/sq mi (2,596.3/km2)
 Metro 5,456,428
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 48030
Area code(s) 248
FIPS code 26-37420[1]
GNIS feature ID 0628016[2]
Nearest Airport Coleman A. Young International Airport

Hazel Park is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit and the geographical center of the Detroit Metropolitan Area. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 18,963; although a recent estimate by the Hazel Park Police Department placed the population at just over 20,100[3]. The was incorporated in 1941, and bills itself as "The Friendly City". It is located in the central part of the Detroit metropolitan area, in the very southeastern corner of Oakland County, directly bordering the counties of Wayne and Macomb.

Hazel Park is the third most densely populated city in Michigan, holding the position under Hamtramck and nearby Royal Oak Township. The city has the second largest Native American population in Oakland County, only halved by Keego Harbor.

Pictured to the right is the Hazel Park Racetrack, the Hazelcrest Apartments, the Monument to the Fallen Heroes at City Hall, the Hazel Park welcome sign in Downtown, and Hazel Park High School; all landmarks of the city.



In October 1882, a group of farmers gathered in a home located at the present-day City hall and had a meeting, requesting for a school to be built. A one-room school was eventually built in 1883 and later expanded to two rooms. In 1884, John W. Benjamine petitioned the state of Michigan to form a school district out of Royal Oak Township. Hazel Park got its name from Benjamine, Royal Oak Township's School Inspector. He decided to name it Hazel Park School District 8, after the surplus amount of Hazelnut bushes in the area.

In 1920, another building, named the Lacey School was built on present-day Woodruff Street. The original Hazel Park school was sold to Frank Neusius, who used it to open a barber shop and a grocery market.

It wasn't until the Ford Motor Company, based out of Highland Park began to expand that Hazel Park experienced significant growth. Hospitals, offices and shops began to thrive around the area of 9 Mile Road and John R. In 1924, Hazel Park's first traffic light, post office and Deputy Sheriff's office were established. The city was incorporated in 1941.[4]

In 1942, the Elias Brothers, John, Fred and Louis Elias; established a diner in Hazel Park. This diner, the Dixie Drive-In, was one of the first in the Midwest to offer curbside services. In 1952, the diner was franchised as a Big Boy; although Louis Elias went on to run for Mayor of Hazel Park, and was in office from 1953 to 1961. The Elias Brothers continued to establish Big Boy restaurants throughout the Metro Detroit area until finally purchasing the franchise in 1983.

The I-75 expressway was not fully completed through Hazel Park until 1966. The area where it is now was Stephenson Highway, which has a current purpose as a service drive. Similarly, I-696 was constructed through what was then Hazel Park, currently Madison Heights in 1979. It was then joined with I-75, creating the highway's busiest junction.

On July 15, 2009, a car traveling northbound on I-75 crashed into a gas tanker, tipping it over and creating an explosion causing 9 Mile Road overpass to collapse onto I-75. Police and fire departments from Hazel Park and neighboring cities responded, and no serious injuries or fatalities were reported. The expressway was closed for one week before reopening. Another explosion occurred on the same day, a home on Maxlow Street, caused by a gas leak.

In February, 2010; the scheduled demolition of the blighted Days Inn Hotel began. It is planned for a brand new CVS Pharmacy and a Tim Hortons coffee shop to be built on the lot. Following the demolition of the hotel, the Hazelcrest Apartments will take the place of the Hotel as the tallest building in the city.


A typical home in Hazel Park. Many of the city's homes were built in the Bungalow style, shortly after World War Two; and have a second story encompassed in the home's roofing.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 18,963 people, 7,284 households, and 4,669 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,728.4 per square mile (2,596.3/km²). There were 7,612 housing units at an average density of 2,700.9/sq mi (1,042.2/km²).

The racial makeup of the city was 91.62% White, 1.62% African American, 0.90% Native American, 1.81% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 3.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.08% of the population.

However, 2009 estimates place the racial makeup of the city at 90.21% White, 2.20% African American, 0.81% Native American, 2.21% Asian and 4.65% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.29% of the population.

In similarity to neighboring Warren, Michigan; a large percentage of Hazel Park's population, if not a majority, is of mostly Polish American and German American descent, with a small Italian American minority. The top ancestries in the city were 18.6% German, 14.8% Irish, 10.3% Polish, 9.7% English and 6.0% French. However, the city has also become an enclave for Albanian Americans as well.

There were 7,284 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 97.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,045, and the median income for a family was $43,584. Males had a median income of $33,063 versus $24,362 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,723. About 10.0% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.0% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

A 2008 estimate places the median household income at $40,403; an 8.4% increase since 2000. The per capita income was estimated to be $18,969; an 11.9% increase since 2000.

It is ranked as the third poorest city in Oakland County by median household income, after Royal Oak Township and Pontiac, whom are far behind. However, many communities in the Metropolitan Detroit area, including Hamtramck, Highland Park, River Rouge, Center Line; and the city of Detroit itself; have a lower median household income; making Hazel Park an affluent city among gateway communities. Hazel Park is ranked 398th of 634 communities in Michigan by per capita income.


Hazel Park
Crime rates (2003)
Crime type Rate*
Homicide: 10.7
Forcible rape: 64.0
Robbery: 154.6
Aggravated assault: 250.5
Violent crime: 479.8
Burglary: 650.3
Larceny-theft: 2,179.8
Motor vehicle theft: 1,018.0
Arson: 10.7
Property crime: 3,848.3
* Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.

Source: 2003 FBI Report of Offenses Known to Law Enforcement

The crime rate in Hazel Park is relatively neutral. Crime is significantly lower than inner communities such as Detroit, Dearborn and Hamtramck[5][6][7]; but is somewhat higher than communities in its own radius such as Royal Oak, Ferndale and Madison Heights[8][9][10]. The crime rate in the city in 2003 was 83.5% of the national average. Larceny theft was the most popular crime, making up 50.2% of the city's crime. Property crimes are becoming increasingly common due to Hazel Park's superb transportation network[citation needed] which connects it to two interstate highways.

The murder rate in Hazel Park is extremely low compared to other Metro Detroit cities. Since 2000, two murders have been reported, both in 2003. The city's crime rate has been shifting completely, however. The violent crime rate has gone down 57% in 2008 from what it was in 2000. In contrast, the property crime rate has gone up 4.6% in the same time period. Specifically, the decrease has been in forcible rape and robbery crimes; and a slight increase in burglary and arson.[11]

Crime is regulated by the Hazel Park Police Department, a force of 42 police officers. Omnipresence, the feeling of police awareness; is something that is well established in the community as well as in the neighboring community of Ferndale; and has caused crime to decrease greatly. The department has auxiliary policing and Neighborhood watch programs available to citizens ages 21 and over. The police department also offers programs such as gun lock giveaways, House watch programs, and programs to put a child up for adoption in case the parent is not capable of raising the child.


Mayor Jack Lloyd

Hazel Park utilizes the Council-Manager form of government, and thus is governed by a City Council consisting of a Mayor and four council members. The city council appoints a City Manager, who manages the day-to-day operations of the city. The current mayor of Hazel Park is Jack Lloyd, who until March 2010 was the deli manager of local grocery store, Kroger. The current city manager is Edward Klobucher. City government is located on the same block as the public library, police station and Postal Office at 9 Mile Road and John R.


Approximate Unofficial neighborhood locations in Hazel Park.      Central Business District      North Business District      South Business District      Industrial Zone      Central Hazel Park      The Courts      The Three Churches      Scout Park      Tucker Park      West End      Southeast Hazel Park      East Hazel Park      Southwest Hazel Park

Officially, Hazel Park has two neighborhoods: District One and District Two as defined by the city Police Department for Neighborhood Watch patrol. However, citizens tend to use different names to unofficially name neighborhoods.


Business Districts

Hazel Park's Business Districts are mostly focused on John R. Road and Nine Mile Road. The city's Central Business District is focused on where the two roads intersect. Hazel Park's Central Business District contains a Days Inn hotel, the city's tallest building; as well as two shopping centers, a high-rise apartment building, the city's civic buildings, and many small businesses.

The North Business District boasts businesses of a higher relative wealth such as a Pittsburgh Paints outlet, a bicycle store, and multiple appliance shops. John R Road, the principal thoroughfare of the North Business district, is also known for its brick paved sidewalks.

The South Business District along John R Road consists mostly of less affluent businesses than the Central and North Business Districts. Bars, Convenience stores and automotive shops are common.

Industrial Zone

Much of the southern strip of Dequindre Road and the eastern portion of Nine Mile Road going through Hazel Park is light industry. Chain stores such as Walgreens and McDonald's are beginning to grow in the southern portion of the neighborhood as well. A popular diner, Brayz, is also located in the area and is one of Hazel Park's most frequented fast food restaurants.

Affluent Residential

Tucker Park is an affluent residential neighborhood centered around Hazel Park's Tucker Field. Many homes in the neighborhood were built between the 1900s and 1950s, but there is also a notable amount of large two story homes being developed in the neighborhood. The estimated median household income was $60,837, the highest of any neighborhood in the city.

As popularly referred to by Hazel Park citizens, The Courts is a neighborhood focused around Maple, Poplar, Cedar, Oak and Elm Courts, five oval-shaped roads circled vertically around Otis Street. The neighborhood is known for its relatively larger, more expensive houses. The estimated median household income was $52,000.

A house in The Courts

The Scout Park neighborhood, just adjacent to The Courts, is another point of affluence. The estimated median household income was $51,635.

As the name suggests, Three Churches neighborhood based around three churches on I-75; Woodlawn Church, Serenity Christian Church, and Calvary Baptist Church. Since the 1980s, wealthier families have began to move in to the neighborhood in large numbers. The estimated median household income was $46,349.


East Hazel Park is a neighborhood bordering Warren and Madison Heights. The estimated median household income was $43,134.

Southeast Hazel Park is a middle-class neighborhood bordering Detroit and Warren. The Hazel Park Schools Administrative Building is located in the neighborhood after moving from a facility near the High School. The estimated median household income was $42,433

West End is a residential neighborhood on the border of Ferndale. The estimated median household income was $41,067.

Located just north of Detroit's State Fair neighborhood, Southwest Hazel Park is one of the poorer areas of the city. House prices are generally lower, and the poverty rate is above city average at about 17%. The estimated median household income was $36,042. [12]

Central Hazel Park is statistically the least wealthy neighborhood in the city. However, the percent of citizens over the age of 65 is the highest in the city at 15%. The estimated median household income was $32,224.[13]

Notable citizens

  • Michael Bobbitt - Local comedian.[14]
  • Frank Anthony Polito - Author.[15]

Hazel Park in popular culture

  • Scenes in the movie Youth in Revolt were filmed in and around Hazel Park.[16]
  • An episode of DEA, a television series airing on Spike; was filmed in Hazel Park, arising controversy when the city was branded falsely as a "haven of drug traffic".
  • Two novels, Band Fags! (2008) and Drama Queers! (2009) written by Hazel Park native Frank Anthony Polito take place in Hazel Park during the 1980s. Both books feature key scenes set at Hazel Park High School. Also referenced are Roy Sparks' Country Boy restaurant, and the now defunct Elias Brothers Big Boy near 9 Mile and I-75, Farmer Jack supermarket on 9 Mile and John R, and the original Harmony House.


I-75 Provides transport to neighboring cities such as Royal Oak and Madison Heights
John R. Road
John R. Road provides access to Detroit, Madison Heights and Oakland Mall
Dequindre Road
Dequindre Road provides access to Warren, Sterling Heights, Detroit and Universal Mall
Eight Mile Road provides access to the Michigan State Fair, Detroit, Warren, Ferndale and other communities in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Hazel Park, Michigan
  3. ^ Hazel Park Police Department
  4. ^ Hazel Park City Website
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Southwest Hazel Park/Herman W. Meinke neighborhood statistics
  13. ^ Hazel Park, Michigan statistics map
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links


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