(Crystal A. Proxmire, Feb. 28, 2017)
Hazel Park, MI – Art and business were the dominant themes in the Hazel Park State of the City Address. Mayor Jeffrey Keeton gave the speech Thursday at a joint event with the Madison Heights-Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re always succeeding despite the odds in Hazel Park,” Mayor Keeton said. “In 2008 we were devastated. And we have come back. We did this through talent, both in our own residents and in attracting new employees and new businesses.”
While Hazel Park was a runner up in a Michigan Municipal League contest for place making for their efforts to develop the John R. corridor, they did take first in the talent category for their staff. Among the staffers is Jeffrey Campbell who was selected as a member of Crain’s 40 Under 40. The Congress for New Urbanism has also shown some Hazel Park love by working with the community on the John R. visioning, and said that Hazel Park was the most engaged of all the cities they had worked with around the country, Mayor Keeton said.
The recently-opened Mabel Gray restaurant was among those featured in the Hazel Park presentation, along with Joe Bar, Doug’s Delight, Loui’s Pizza, Cellarman’s and several art studios like Richard Gage and Leelanu.
Mayor Keeton announced a forthcoming Tim Horton’s and Secretary of State Office at 8 Mile and Dequindre that will go well with the recently opened Save-a-Lot location.
Industry-wise the big news is the 583,000 square foot Tri County Commerce center being developed by Ashley Capital. Plans are in the works for a sister project next to it, that will have 530,000 square feet of industrial and warehouse space.
Hazel Park turned 75 years old this year, a milestone that was celebrated with the opening of the Hazel Park Museum in one of the community’s former library buildings.
Mayor Jan Parisi resigned due to health issues in 2016, and will be honored by the City by having the John R. Art Garden named after her in the spring. After her resignation Keeton was appointed to serve as Mayor, and Beth Holland was appointed to the city council. Keeton had been Mayor from 1991-1995 as well.
The evolution of artistic endeavors in the community has taken place in the past couple of years, including the Art Garden and the growth of the Hazel Park Art Fair which takes place in Green Acres Park. Green Acres will also see improvements in the spring as new exercise equipment will be going in, the result of fundraising by residents.
To learn more about the City of Hazel Park, check out their website http://www.hazelpark.org/.
For more on the Madison Heights-Hazel Park Chamber visit http://madisonheightschamber.com/.