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Novi, incorporated in 1969, is one of Michigan’s youngest cities. It is best known for its explosive growth, its nationally recognized school system and its shopping district. Novi is one of the fastest growing cities in Oakland County, which is the most prosperous county in Michigan and the third wealthiest county in per-capital income in America. It is now considered to be one of the most affluent cities in Michigan. The construction of Twelve Oaks Mall in the mid-1970s at the interchange of Novi Road and I-96 is often credited with ushering in the growth that the city experiences today. In actuality, the city has experienced almost constant growth since the 1950s. This period of growth has led to an explosion in the city’s population and numerous residential, commercial and industrial developments around the city.
Novi’s Grand River Road was first surveyed in 1832 as a link between Detroit and Lake Michigan. Built over an old Indian trail, the road was an important east-west highway throughout the nineteenth century. The small village of Novi grew up along the road and remained a small farming community until the 1950s, when the Michigan State Highway Department greatly developed the highways and interstates in the region making Novi much more accessible to Detroit. The village began to grow rapidly until it had become a “bedroom community” of commuters to the big city. After two unsuccessful attempts in 1959 and 1962, Novi was incorporated in 1969. The name Novi was taken from the township, which was organized in 1832 from Farmington Township. The name was offered by resident Dr. J.C. Emory, at the suggestion of his wife. Residents were reportedly looking for a shorter name than Farmington. Several popular but historically inaccurate explanations have been given for the origin of the name Novi. One version is that it was named after the 6th tollgate on the Grand River toll road (No. VI). However, the township was named in 1832 and the toll road wasn’t constructed until the 1850s. A similar claim is made about the Township being stop number 6 on the railroad. However, the railroad was not constructed through the Township until 1870 – 1871, almost 40 years after it was named.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Novi has a total area of 31.3 mi². 30.4 mi² of it is land and 0.9 mi² of it is water. The total area is 2.74% water. Walled Lake is the largest lake in Novi. It also serves as the headwaters of the Middle Branch of the Rouge River. Shawood Lake lies just southwest of Walled Lake. Most of Novi lies within the Rouge River watershed. However, some areas on the north and west side of Novi are part of the Huron River watershed.
The highlight of Novi’s social calendar is its “Music & Motor Festival,” held annually at the Novi Expo Center. The Expo Center is host to convention-style events year round.
Novi is home to Twelve Oaks Mall, the primary shopping location in the area, West Oaks, Novi Town Center, and Fountain Walk, the area’s largest shopping outlets.
Novi is home to some of metro Detroit’s finest dining, including Andiamo’s and Steve & Rocky’s.
The area is also home to several recreation facilities, such as the Farmington Hills Ice Arena and Costick Activities Center. The William Costick Activities Center provides a community-oriented, multi-purpose facility where citizens of all ages from Farmington, Farmington Hills and surrounding communities can enjoy a wide variety of social, recreational and cultural activities, events, programs and services. It serves the recreational needs of local residents with a swimming pool, multi-purpose gymnasium, three soccer fields and meeting rooms. Farmington Hills’ Parks and Recreation officials take pride in offering diverse programming for those interested in hockey, softball, tennis, golf volleyball and soccer.
Novi is ideally located approximately 35 miles west of the heart of downtown Detroit, and approximately 30 miles east of Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan. It is also approximately 25 miles from Metro Airport. It has convenient access to I-275, Michigan’s busiest expressway, I-696, which connects Novi to Troy, and I-96, which connects Detroit to Ann Arbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids.
Novi’s school system consistently ranks in the highest rating category of all schools in metro Detroit. Currently the district has over 6,000 students enrolled in five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Some areas of Novi are served by other school districts, including the Northville school district, Walled Lake school district and the South Lyon school district.
Novi is home to several private schools, including Franklin Road Christian School, Koby International Academy, Novi Christian School, and Novi Northville Montessori Center.
If you are new to the area, we thought it might be useful for you to see how the communities in our immediate area relate to one another in terms of pricing and how various subdivisions within the same city compare, as well as some other useful statistics and demographics. If you already live here, this information might be useful to help you understand the value of your home.
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