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Auburn Hills, Michigan
City of Auburn Hills
Chrysler Headquarters and Technology Center
Chrysler Headquarters and Technology Center
Motto(s): 
"Honoring The Past. Building The Future"
Location within Oakland County
Location within Oakland County
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Coordinates: 42°41′15″N 83°14′03″W / 42.68750°N 83.23417°W / 42.68750; -83.23417Coordinates: 42°41′15″N 83°14′03″W / 42.68750°N 83.23417°W / 42.68750; -83.23417
Country United States
State Michigan
County Oakland
Settled 1821
Incorporated 1983
Government
 • Type Council–manager
Area
 • City 16.68 sq mi (43.19 km2)
 • Land 16.63 sq mi (43.07 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
Elevation
961 ft (293 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • City 21,412
 • Estimate 
(2019)
24,748
 • Density 1,488.06/sq mi (574.55/km2)
 • Metro
4,296,250 (Metro Detroit)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
48309 (Rochester)
48326
Area code(s) 248 and 947
FIPS code 26-04105
GNIS feature ID 1675443

Auburn Hills is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 21,412 at the 2010 census. Before incorporating as a city in 1983, the area was part of the now-defunct Pontiac Township. It is home to Oakland University and the U.S. headquarters of Stellantis, BorgWarner, Chrysler, and Volkswagen.

History

In 1908, automobile pioneer John Dodge bought a farmhouse 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Auburn Heights to use as his country retreat. His oldest child, Winifred Dodge, married real estate baron Wesson Seyburn, who built his own country retreat 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north of Auburn Heights. The estate included hunting land, dog kennels, a swimming pool, horse stables, and a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) Colonial Revival house. Pontiac Township purchased the estate in 1976, and adapted the buildings for government use. Today, it is known as the Auburn Hills Civic Center.

The first use of the name "Auburn Hills," in 1964, was by Oakland Community College. They named their campus (a former Nike missile base) at Featherstone and Squirrel roads for the town and the hilly terrain in the area. Besides Oakland Community College, three other colleges, Oakland University, Baker College, and Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School have campuses partially within the city limits.

Incorporation history

Auburn Hills began as Pontiac Township, including the village of Auburn, in 1821, at what is today the corner of Auburn and Squirrel roads. Situated on the Clinton River, it was named by Aaron Webster, the first settler, for Auburn, New York. His sawmill and grist mill attracted settlers to Auburn. After the streets were laid out in 1826, Auburn rivaled nearby Pontiac until the 1860s, when it lost its prosperity. The town was renamed Amy in 1880, and it officially became Auburn Heights in 1919. Pontiac Township bordered the city of Pontiac on two sides. The township attempted to incorporate as Pontiac Heights in 1971, but was denied by state officials. Pontiac Township became a charter township in 1978, to protect itself from further annexation. In 1983, Pontiac Township merged with the village of Auburn Heights to become the City of Auburn Hills. It is not to be confused with the similarly named city of Auburn, Michigan, that exists in Bay County, near Saginaw Bay.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.64 square miles (43.10 km2), of which 16.60 square miles (42.99 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 111
1990 17,076
2000 19,837 16.2%
2010 21,412 7.9%
2019 (est.) 24,748 15.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 21,412 people, 8,844 households, and 4,923 families living in the city. The population density was 1,289.9 inhabitants per square mile (498.0/km2). There were 9,965 housing units at an average density of 600.3 per square mile (231.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 66.3% White, 18.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 8.9% Asian, 2.7% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.8% of the population.

There were 8,844 households, of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.3% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 31.4 years. 19.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 17.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31.9% were from 25 to 44; 21.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% female and 51.6% male.

Parks and recreation

Auburn Hills is home to several local parks, many of which are open year-round.

Auburn Hills Skate Park

A skateboard, inline skate and BMX bike park open to all ages and skill levels. The use of the facility is always free and it remains open from April to November, 8 a.m. until dusk.

Civic Center Park

Popular hiking and walking attraction with numerous nature trails. A fishing pond and picnic area are also available for public use. The park offers open lawn areas and a picnic shelter with a fireplace inside. The park features a softball field, 9-hole disc golf course, tennis courts, two play structures, and swings.

Riverwoodswater
River Woods Park
Clinton River Trail

An expansive, 16-mile (26 km) walkway through the heart of Oakland County. The trail cuts through several different cities, including Rochester, Rochester Hills, Sylvan Lake, Auburn Hills, and Pontiac. The 2.1-mile (3.4 km) section of trail within Auburn Hills is covered in finely crushed stone, ideal for walking, jogging and biking.

Dennis Dearing Jr. Memorial Park

Featuring a fireman-themed “tot-lot” for children ages 2–5, Dennis Dearing Jr. Memorial Park is a popular spot for families with children. The park also has swings, picnic tables and open space areas for picnic or play.

Hawk Woods Nature Center

Eighty acres of woods, meadows and marsh are accessible via several groomed nature trails and a boardwalk. This year-round facility features heated restroom and shower facilities for the winter months, along with a two-story lodge with six overnight camping cabins. The lodge can be rented for meetings or activities year-round.

Manitoba Park

A two-acre park which contains a play structure, sand volleyball courts, a paved play area and open space for activities.

Riverside Park

Located adjacent to downtown Auburn Hills and along the Clinton River, Riverside Park is a popular spot during the warmer months. A canoe launch is open during the warm season.

River Woods Park

Located near downtown Auburn Hills, this park has picnic areas, both open and sheltered, standing barbecue grills and heated restrooms which remain open year-round. Visitors can navigate through the park on a paved pathway system, which includes a bridge over the Clinton River. The park also contains four basketball courts and play structures.

Economy

Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills

Auburn Hills roughly follows the course of Interstate 75 and is home to a prosperous business community. In the early 1980s, Oakland University partnered with developers to create a technology and research park. The Oakland Technology Park was approved by the city in 1985, with Comerica, EDS, and Chrysler to build campuses there. The city's many tech and office buildings host 80,000 people during the workday.

Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, an enclosed super-regional outlet shopping mall, opened November 12, 1998.

In 2002, the area at Auburn and Squirrel was revitalized as the "Village Center" with streetscape improvements. Pedestrian-friendly development is encouraged in this district now known simply as Downtown Auburn Hills. At the end of 2013, a number of large projects were completed Downtown, including a four-story graduate student apartment complex, a 233-space parking deck, an auxiliary classroom space for schools and colleges called the University Center and the Downtown Educational Nook (DEN), a refurbished historic log cabin acting as a student and community center.

Auburn Hills is home to BorgWarner, Guardian Industries, Autoliv, RGIS, Joyson Safety Systems, the Americas headquarters of GKN Driveline, the North American headquarters of Faurecia, Volkswagen/Audi North American Headquarters, and until its demolition, The Palace of Auburn Hills, the former home of the National Basketball Association's Detroit Pistons and the former home of Women's National Basketball Association's Detroit Shock.

In 2017, Maserati announced it was moving its U.S. headquarters from Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to the former Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills.

Education

Auburn Hills Public Library 3
Auburn Hills Public Library

Primary and secondary schools

School districts serving sections of Auburn Hills include Avondale School District, Pontiac School District, and Rochester Community Schools.

The Avondale School District operates two elementary schools in the city limits: R. Grant Graham Elementary School and Auburn Elementary School. Portions of Auburn Hills in ASD are zoned to these schools. All ASD residents are zoned to Avondale Middle School in Rochester Hills and Avondale High School in Auburn Hills. Other ASD facilities in Auburn Hills include the district administrative offices and Avondale Montessori. A Pontiac school district school, Will Rogers Elementary School, is located in northeastern Auburn Hills.

Private schools in Auburn Hills include:

  • Auburn Hills Christian School
  • Oakland Christian School

Private schools near Auburn Hills:

  • Notre Dame Preparatory/Marist Academy, Pontiac
  • Holy Family Regional School (HFRS) - Consists of a grade PK-3 North Campus in Rochester and a 4-8 South Campus in Rochester Hills. Two churches in Auburn Hills designate HFRS as the parish school: St. John Fisher Chapel and Sacred Heart of the Hills. The first two sponsored the school from the beginning and the other three joined later, with Sacred Heart being the final one.

Higher education

The main campus of Oakland University sits within Auburn Hills. Oakland Community College, Baker College, and Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School are also situated in Auburn Hills.

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