Mayor shares Hazel Park highlights at State of the Cities address

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published March 2, 2018

 Hazel Park Mayor Mike Webb highlighted his town’s rising assessed values, record-low crime rate, growing business sector and quality-of-life offerings.

Hazel Park Mayor Mike Webb highlighted his town’s rising assessed values, record-low crime rate, growing business sector and quality-of-life offerings.

Photo by Deb Jacques

HAZEL PARK — Mike Webb, the new mayor of Hazel Park, had a lot of good news to report during the 2018 State of the Cities address.

The event, sponsored by the Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce, brought together officials and staff from the two cities Feb. 22 at the Hazel Park Recreation Center.

“2017 was a remarkable year for the city of Hazel Park,” Webb said. “It was our 75th anniversary, and I believe that the future is bright for the city of Hazel Park.”

He welcomed the two new City Council members, Mayor Pro Tem Amy Aubry and Alissa Sullivan. He also thanked other current and past members of City Council, as well as the residents who have supported their policies over the years.

He said Hazel Park’s 2017 was defined by exciting new businesses; assessed values that increased more than any other city or township in Oakland County; crime rates still at record lows; improvements in the parks; and more.

“We remain optimistic that 2018 will be just as strong or stronger,” Webb said.

On the business front, the mayor highlighted green tech company Exlterra, which unveiled a versatile new drill rig named after the city. He also touted the opening of the massive Tri-County Commerce Center at 10 Mile and Dequindre roads, already home to LG Electronics, assembling the battery for the Chevy Bolt, which will bring 200 jobs to the city. The complex also hosts a distribution center for, as well as automotive supplier Bridgewater Interiors.

Also in 2017, Oak Street Health, a senior care provider, opened a state-of-the-art health facility in the long-vacant CVS building on East Nine Mile Road. ATS, a shipping and packaging supply center, opened as well. Mabel Gray was named 2017 Restaurant of the Year by the Detroit Free Press, and its owner purchased the old Doug’s Delight, scheduled to reopen this spring. Hazel Park also added a new diner, Joe Bar and The Frame, just two buildings north of Mabel Gray.

Other developments include a new Save-A-Lot at Eight Mile and Dequindre roads, as well as a new secretary of state office and a second Tim Horton’s.

“The good news also extends to residential and commercial property values,” Webb said, citing a 14 percent increase in assessed values. The mayor also announced a planned mixed-use complex at the vacant CVS building on John R Road.

The sixth annual Hazel Park Art Fair was the event’s most successful year yet. The festivities during Memorial Weekend also broke records. The Art Garden on John R Road was renamed the Mayor Jan Parisi Art Garden, dedicated to the former mayor and long-serving councilwoman. The Hazel Park Historical Museum, 45 E. Pearl Ave., enjoyed its successful first year. Also new in 2017 was the Hazel Park Legacy Fitness Park, on the north end of Green Acres Park, featuring exercise equipment funded by a donation from the Truba family.

The city also committed to working with local schools to combat substance abuse, and the city continues to promote the Promise Zone, which helps send Hazel Park High graduates to college.  

Webb welcomed the new police chief, Brian Buchholz, noting that crime rates are the lowest they’ve been since the 1950s. He also praised Judge Charles Goedert’s work on the remodeling and expansion of the 43rd District Court, which included a new facade for City Hall. Meanwhile, Woodward Heights Boulevard was reduced to three lanes, increasing safety. The Fire Department was also highlighted, with response times averaging between two and three minutes. In addition, Animal Control expanded in 2017, with new direct adoption services that found homes for more than 50 animals.

Every resident in Hazel Park received high-capacity recycling containers over the summer, which led to a 61 percent increase in recycling, the largest increase of all communities that year that are serviced by the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA).

Other improvements in Hazel Park in 2017 included increased compliance from landlords and business owners; a major facelift on 10 Mile Road, with businesses applying fresh coats of paint; an increase in permit fees due to investment by businesses like LG Electronics; and residents improving their houses.

More changes are upcoming, including a revamped website that will improve communication between the city and residents, as well as roadwork projects on John R and Nine Mile roads.

After the mayor’s speech, Councilman Andy LeCureaux said there’s a lot to be excited about.

“It’s nice to hear all the positive happenings of the city all rolled into a synopsis,” LeCureaux said. “The proposed development on John R Road (at Tucker Avenue), at the old CVS and Movie Mania location, is exciting to see, with its new residential units and retail shops combined into one location. I’m sure it will encourage more private investment in the area. And the MMFLA (Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act) will consume a great deal of our attention in 2018, as we work to safely and effectively integrate these businesses into our community.”