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Hazel Park, Michigan is an inner suburb of the Detroit Metro Region, bordering on Detroit to the south, Ferndale to the west, Madison Heights to the north, and Warren to the east.

The chief routes to and from the city are I-75 and M-102 (8 Mile Road), which forms the city's southern border, although the I-75 interchange with I-696 is just outside its northwestern city limits. 10 Mile Road forms its northern border and Dequindre Road forms its eastern boundary. The western boundary is broken and formed by Lennox Street, Pilgrim Street, and Westend Street.

Besides Ferndale, Madison Heights, Warren, and Detroit, cities and villages within twenty miles of Hazel Park include Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Highland Park, Oak Park, Berkley, Hamtramck, Center Line, Clawson, Eastpointe, Lathrup Village, Southfield, Birmingham, Troy, Beverly Hills, Roseville, Bingham Farms, Fraser, Franklin, St. Clair Shores, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights, Dearborn, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Utica, Grosse Pointe Park, Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Melvindale, Farmington, Orchard Lake, River Rouge, Dearborn Heights, Mt. Clemens, Allen Park, Rochester, Ecorse, Auburn Hills, and Lincoln Park.

As a mature community, Hazel Park is fully developed and includes two significant commercial and industrial corridors. Like many other Michigan cities, its manufacturing sector has been in decline for the past couple of decades. The city's economic base is made up largely of small, local businesses, many of which are proprietary industrial shops.

For years, its second-largest employer has been the Hazel Park Race Track, a thoroughbred horse racing track that opened in 1949, adding harness racing in 1953, and simulcast wagering in 1996. However, the track was sold and closed in 2018, as the new owner wanted to develop the site for multiple tenants, which would include Amazon, Akasol, Bridgwater, Dakkota, Enova Premier, and Hi-Lex, but this has not yet come about, and the future of the site is uncertain.

From artifacts found on the land, it is clear that the area that was to become Hazel Park was inhabited by various Native American tribes for a very long period of time before the arrival of European-Americans.

The current settlement has its origins as part of Royal Oak Township in 1833, when Shuabel Conant received a land grant from the United States government in 1835. There is no indication that Conant settled his land, however. He sold it off in parcels to various settlers, including those from the Benjamin, Grix, Grow, Lacey, Meinke, Neusius, and Truba families, whose names are now attached to several of the city's streets, schools, and parks.

Anthony Neusius is believed to be the first permanent European-American settler after his purchase of eighty acres.

There are competing stories for the naming of Hazel Park. One attributes it to Burnette Fechette Stephenson, a real estate developer, who is said to have named the Hazel Park Subdivision for his future wife, Hazel Kirk. The second story is that it received its name from the Royal Oak superintendent of schools, John Benjamine, who named the community for the hazelnut bushes that were native to the region.

The area remained largely rural until the Ford Company opened its Highland Park plant in 1914. When a section of Woodward Avenue was closed due to construction in 1922, motorists who were redirected through Hazel Park found an affordable new area with subdivisions in the process of construction, with employment available at the nearby Ford plant. Hazel Park became an attractive alternative to Detroit. Stores, restaurants, theaters, schools, and churches were also built.

On February 2, 1942, Hazel Park was incorporated as a city, skipping the traditional path of becoming first a village. A post office was established on July 1, 1946, with Percy T. Morden as postmaster.

The new city grew rapidly until 1960, when a number of factors combined to bring decline. The largest of these was an expansion of the I-75 freeway, which took a large portion of the city's business district along John R Road, along with the Hazel Park city hall building, one of its schools, and three city blocks of homes and businesses on the northwest corner of 9 Mile Road and John R. A 10-story Holiday Inn and the Cambridge Mall took their place.

The population of Hazel Park has declined steadily since 1960, in part due to smaller family sizes and the lack of additional housing spaces. With a peak population of 25,631 in 1960, its population at the time of the 2010 census was 16,422. Nevertheless, crime rates are low for the Detroit Metro Region.

The focus of this guide is on the City of Hazel Park, Michigan. Online resources for the city, as well as local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, or events, are appropriate.


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