Mike McFall, a member of the Hazel Park Downtown Development Authority, speaks with photographer Eric Law and artist Candace Law at Color & Ink Studio in Hazel Park about upcoming plans for the district.

Mike McFall, a member of the Hazel Park Downtown Development Authority, speaks with photographer Eric Law and artist Candace Law at Color & Ink Studio in Hazel Park about upcoming plans for the district.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Hazel Park DDA details ‘Downtown Hazel Park’ initiative

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published December 6, 2018

HAZEL PARK — In recent years, businesses big and small have been flocking to Hazel Park, from household names like Amazon.com and LG Electronics to trendy destination attractions like Mabel Gray and Cellarmen’s. And the Hazel Park Downtown Development Authority has been busy planning ways to help promote local businesses both new and old.

The DDA’s latest initiative, Downtown Hazel Park, aims to shine a light on what the business community has to offer in the “Friendly City.”

Mike McFall is the DDA member spearheading this initiative. McFall is currently developing the website downtownhazelpark.com. Once it launches, the site will serve as a hub detailing local businesses and community events. The site will also provide information and resources for new businesses looking to open shop in the city.

In the meantime, the DDA provides similar information at facebook.com/DowntownHazelPark.

“For Mike (McFall) to take this on voluntarily really shows his commitment to Hazel Park and our small businesses,” Hazel Park Mayor Pro Tem Amy Aubry said. “He’s been proactive by creating and maintaining the social media and website, and has shown genuine commitment to letting our longtime businesses know we’re here for them, and we’re the next great place for businesses looking for a new place to grow or start a new business.”

McFall said that the DDA’s current top priorities include ensuring viable roads for businesses and providing different forms of transit, including bike lanes and sharrows.

“We also want to create a distinct downtown area along John R that is inviting and walkable,” McFall said. “The DDA wants to foster place-making efforts that will make Hazel Park unique and attract local restaurateurs, green companies, and unique service providers.

The DDA has also assisted local businesses with parking solutions and has issued road bonds for repairs to John R and Nine Mile roads. The idea is to improve the area’s infrastructure while the marketing plan being developed via the Downtown Hazel Park initiative attracts new visitors.

“We are getting more businesses in Hazel Park that are open to the public and want to create a destination. More art establishments, too. We’ve attracted local artists to open business in the city,” McFall said.

He pointed to Color & Ink Studio as one example, and the custom furniture studio Brian DuBois Atelier as another. He also noted eateries unique to Hazel Park, such as Mabel Gray, Joebar and Frame, as well as the beers and meads at Cellarmen’s, and the new coffee shop Civitas. There’s also a new barbershop and retail store for men in the form of Youngbloods, and the full-service office supply offerings of the ATS Store. All of these businesses are on John R Road.

“The eclectic family of businesses we have here in Hazel Park, both old and new, are a vital part of our city,” McFall said. “We work hard and are loyal to our hometown businesses, because their generosity is what helps make our community strong.”