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Oak Park

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About Oak Park

Oak Park is a midsize city that's part of the Detroit metropolitan region. Located in Oakland County, the city is considered a northern suburb of Detroit. Major growth in the county over recent years has brought many significant transportation improvements, including the widening of Interstate-75 North and construction of I-696, which have made it very easy to get around the area.

The History of Oak Park

The land where Oak Park is now located welcomed the first European Americans in 1840, but no major settlements followed for several decades. The few people who did live there were considered a part of Royal Oak Township, but growth was minimal. It wasn't until 1914 that the community's first housing development was constructed. During World War I, the township sold a portion of land to the Majestic Land Co. The company established the Oak Park subdivision on the land, and it was incorporated as its own village in 1927.

After unsuccessful local efforts to return the village to the jurisdiction of the township, the village transitioned to official city status in 1945. The nationwide GI Bill provided aid to veterans who wanted to purchase new housing, which stimulated many communities in America, including Oak Park. Between 1950 and 1960, Oak Park was named "America's Fastest Growing City," with its population jumping from 5,000 to more than 36,000.

Living in Oak Park

Suburban neighborhoods in the northern and western parts of the city make Oak Park particularly attractive to young families. These cozy neighborhoods, combined with good recreational amenities, make Oak Park a prime destination for families seeking a comfortable home with easy access to Detroit.

Oak Park's parks and recreation department offers a variety of programs for adults and children alike. You can enroll your child in a summer day camp or youth sports, take advantage of many fitness classes, or enjoy an adult day trip to one of the area's cultural institutions. In addition to an ice arena, a city pool and a miniature golf course, Oak Park is also home to several community parks. The largest of these is David H. Shepard Park, stretching over 56 acres and featuring a wooden train, several sports courts, a sledding hill and walking trails.

Oak Park Schools

Public schools in the city fall under the jurisdiction of Oak Park Schools. There are also a few private schools in the city, including faith-based campuses and a Montessori school.

Resources for Moving to Oak Park

As you prepare for your move to Oak Park, the following information can simplify the process:

  • Utilities: Oak Park's primary energy provider is DTE Energy, while the city manages its own water and sewer services.
  • Garbage and Recycling: The city facilitates curbside collection of trash and recyclables. You have the option of purchasing city-designated disposal bins or using your own containers.
  • Transportation: The SMART bus provides public transportation service in and around Oak Park.

Oak Park Housing

Owning a home in Oak Park is very affordable, with a median home price that's well below the national average. There are a number of mid-century homes in the city, some of which have been extensively renovated and modernized. Or, if you'd prefer to do the work yourself, you can easily find an older fixer-upper. However, if you're looking to rent, you can expect prices to be somewhat expensive. Rent prices in Oak Park tend to be higher than for the Detroit metro area as a whole.