Everything About Farmington Hills, MI


Farmington Hills has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. The area was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi Native American tribe before European settlers arrived in the early 1800s. One of the first European settlers was Arthur Power, who built a trading post and farmed in what is now Farmington Hills in 1823.

The area started to grow in the 1830s as more settlers moved to the region. The first schoolhouse was built in 1842 and the first church, the First Baptist Church of Farmington, was established in 1848.

Farmington Township was officially organized in 1834 and originally included Farmington and Farmington Hills. The two cities eventually incorporated separately, with Farmington Hills incorporating as a city in 1973.

For much of its early history, Farmington Hills was dependent on agriculture. Fruit orchards and dairy farms dominated the landscape. The automobile industry eventually became a major employer in the region as Detroit emerged as the center of car manufacturing.

After World War II, the population boomed as many middle class families moved to the suburbs. With its rolling hills and ample land, Farmington Hills provided an idyllic escape from the urban core.


Farmington Hills is located in southeastern Michigan, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. It covers an area of over 33 square miles. Farmington Hills is bordered by several communities including Farmington to the southeast, Novi to the north, West Bloomfield Township to the northeast, and Redford Charter Township to the south.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Farmington Hills has a total area of 33.31 square miles, of which 33.04 square miles is land and 0.27 square miles is water. The terrain is characterized by rolling hills formed by glacial activity. One of the most prominent physical features is the Rouge River, which winds through the western part of the city.

The city landscape is a mix of residential neighborhoods, commercial districts, light industrial areas, and parks and open spaces. Orchard Lake Road and Grand River Avenue are two major commercial thoroughfares that run through Farmington Hills. The downtown area along Grand River Avenue provides restaurants, shops, and services.


The geology of Farmington Hills is characterized by glacial formations and activities. During the last ice age, the Wisconsin Glacier advanced and retreated across the Michigan landscape, shaping the terrain. This glacial activity left behind characteristics such as rolling hills, lakes, swamps, soils, and aggregates like sand and gravel.

The city’s terrain consists largely of coarse-textured end moraine deposits. These are irregular ridges of rough materials left behind at the farthest point of a glacier’s advance. Many depressions and irregularities in the landscape were caused by the melting of buried ice blocks. Glacial drift underlies the city and is quite thick in some areas.

The Rouge River cuts through deposits of glacial outwash, which consist of material transported and deposited by glacial meltwater. There are also some areas of lacustrine clay and silt, which were deposited in proglacial lakes. The city’s elevation ranges from around 960 to 1,060 feet above sea level.

Overall, the glacial legacy greatly shaped the topography and geology of Farmington Hills. The rolling terrain, drainage patterns, soil types, and aggregate resources throughout the area reflect the movement of massive ice sheets during the last ice age.


Farmington Hills contains a number of distinct neighborhoods, often centered around the historic villages that were eventually absorbed into the city:

  • Downtown Farmington Hills is centered around Grand River Avenue and contains a vibrant business district with restaurants, shops, and services. Many civic events take place downtown.
  • Farmington is one of the oldest neighborhoods, dating back to the early 19th century. It retains a quaint, historic charm with Victorian homes and buildings.
  • Orchard Lake Village has an upscale, country feel with estate residential areas surrounding Orchard Lake. The scenic views and open spaces make this a popular neighborhood.
  • Cass Lake Village developed around the lake of the same name. It features quality schools, parks, nature areas, and a quiet suburban atmosphere.
  • Power Road Corridor contains industrial and corporate office parks and the headquarters for businesses like Bosch.
  • Northeast Farmington Hills has larger, more modern homes built in the 1960s and 1970s. Many tech companies established their headquarters in the area.
  • South Farmington is more affordable and diverse, with ranch homes and smaller Cape Cods along with retail and office parks.


Farmington Hills has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Winters tend to be cold and snowy while summers are warm to hot and humid.

The winter months of December through February see average highs around 31°F (-1°C) and average lows of 18°F (-8°C). Low temperatures frequently drop below 0°F (-18°C) and winter storms often bring heavy snowfall. Total seasonal snow accumulation averages about 43 inches.

Spring and fall are transitional seasons with moderate temperatures. Highs in spring (March to May) average in the low 60s F (high teens C) while fall (September to November) averages in the mid 50s F (13°C). Frost is still common in spring and fall.

Summers are warm and humid, with average highs in the low 80s F (high 20s C). The hottest months are July and August. Summer brings frequent thunderstorms. The peak of summer can also experience heat waves with temperatures exceeding 90°F (32°C).

The city has plenty of sunshine year-round. However, it experiences frequent cloud cover and precipitation due to its Great Lakes location. Annual rainfall averages about 30 inches.


According to the 2020 US census, Farmington Hills has a population of 81,730 residents. This makes it the 20th largest city in Michigan.

The racial makeup of the city is approximately:

  • 75% White
  • 10% Asian
  • 10% African American
  • 3% Hispanic/Latino
  • 2% Two or more races

Farmington Hills has a large Asian population, many of Indian and Chinese descent. The city has a sizable Middle Eastern population as well.

The median age is 44.5 years. About 27% of the population is under age 20 and 15% is age 65 or older.

There are roughly 30,000 households in the city. The average household size is 2.5 people. Most housing is single family homes, with some apartments and condominiums.

Over 60% of adult residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This educated workforce is employed largely in white collar and professional occupations. The median household income is $87,000, reflecting an affluent, middle-class community.


Farmington Hills has a strong, diverse economy anchored by high tech firms, corporate offices, healthcare, research, manufacturing, retail and service businesses. Some key industries and major employers include:

  • Automobile: Kelly Services headquarters, BorgWarner tech center
  • Finance and Insurance: Accretive Solutions HQ, PCA headquarters
  • Technology: Hitachi Automotive, IBM, Dell Computers, Cisco
  • Health and Medical: Trinity Health, Michigan Head & Spine Institute
  • Research and Development: testing labs and facilities for Bosch and Takata Corporation
  • Retail/Service: shopping malls/plazas, restaurants, hotels, car dealerships

The city has a number of business and industrial parks that are home to many firms and provide employment. Prominent parks include Oakland Technology Park and Farmington Plaza.

Downtown Farmington offers many small businesses like boutique shops, salons, banks, and eateries.

With its educated population, high standard of living and proximity to Detroit, Farmington Hills provides companies with an attractive location and skilled talent base. The presence of internationally recognized firms has contributed to the city’s prosperity.


Farmington Hills provides ample cultural and leisure activities for families and residents. Some highlights include:

  • The Costick Center houses an art gallery, theater, gymnasium and classrooms. It hosts instructional programs in art, dance, fitness and other enrichment activities.
  • The Farmington Players Barn Theater stages live community theater productions in a rustic, intimate setting.
  • The Founders Festival is a popular annual community celebration with a parade, carnival rides and fireworks.
  • Riley Archery Park is unique outdoor recreation, with archery and hiking trails through scenic woods.
  • Glen Oaks Golf Course is a championship 18-hole public golf course with a banquet hall.
  • Farmington Hills Golf Club is an exclusive member-owned country club.
  • Greenmead Historical Village provides a living history museum with restored 19th century buildings.
  • The Farmington Community Library has events and services for all ages like story times, book clubs, and computer classes.
  • A variety of local events take place year-round like the Summer Concert Series, the Sundays in the City car shows and winter holiday carriage rides.

The cultural diversity of the community is also celebrated through ethnic festivals, restaurants, places of worship and performance groups.

Colleges and universities

Farmington Hills is home to several higher education institutions:

Oakland Community College Orchard Ridge Campus: One of the five campuses of the large OCC system. Offers associate’s degrees and vocational training in areas like health sciences, technology, and skilled trades.

Michigan Career and Technical Institute provides career counseling and technical education programs for Michigan residents.

ITT Technical Institute offered computer and electronic programs before closing in 2016.

Schoolcraft College and Lawrence Technological University are located just outside the city limits and easily accessible to Farmington Hills residents.

The city’s proximity to major universities in Detroit provides further post-secondary education options. These include University of Michigan-Dearborn and Wayne State University.

Overall, Farmington Hills provides quality academic opportunities through OCC’s Orchard Ridge campus combined with access to several universities in southeast Michigan. These institutions help supply an educated workforce.


Farmington Hills receives media coverage from news outlets covering the Metro Detroit area. These include:


  • The Farmington Observer – Weekly community newspaper focused on Farmington and Farmington Hills. Part of the Observer & Eccentric Media group.
  • Detroit Free Press – Major daily newspaper serving the Detroit region.

Television News Stations:

  • WJBK Fox 2 Detroit
  • WDIV NBC 4 Detroit
  • WXYZ 7 Action News Detroit

Radio Stations:

  • WWJ Newsradio 950 AM – News/talk radio
  • FM stations ranging from classic rock to country, pop and NPR. Popular stations include 96.3 WDVD and 89.3 WRCJ.

In addition, Farmington Hills has media produced by the city itself:

  • FHTV – The city’s public, education and government access cable TV station available on Comcast.
  • Focus on Farmington – Monthly print and digital community magazine.
  • City website and social media channels – For news, events, services and engagement.

Between city outlets and broader metro Detroit media, Farmington Hills residents can stay connected to local happenings through multiple print, broadcast and online information sources.


Some of the major roadways in Farmington Hills include:

  • Grand River Avenue – Historic thoroughfare and the main north-south artery through downtown Farmington Hills and the city.
  • Orchard Lake Road – Major east-west route that connects to highways and runs along Orchard Lake.
  • 12 Mile Road – Primary east-west road on the south side. Part of the baseline road system.
  • 14 Mile Road – Prominent east-west thoroughfare on the north side. Also a baseline road.
  • Northwestern Highway – Diagonal southwest-northeast route through the city.
  • Farmington Road – Primary north-south roadway of the downtown district.
  • Drake Road – Key north-south route into Novi and points north.
  • Halsted Road – Southbound road leading to the southern tip of the city.
  • 8 Mile Road – On the southern border, the famous Detroit dividing line.

These roads link Farmington Hills to metro Detroit highways like I-696, I-96, and M-5 which provide connections to Detroit, Ann Arbor, and other Michigan cities.

The roads facilitate movement within Farmington Hills and tie the city into the broader regional transportation network. Grand River Avenue and Orchard Lake Road are also the main commercial corridors.

Major Landmarks

Some iconic landmarks of Farmington Hills include:

  • The Governor Warner Mansion – Historic 27-room residence built in the 1920s, home to Michigan governors and now used for social events.
  • Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Offices – Distinctive 14-story tall glass office building visible from many parts of the city.
  • Oakland Community College Orchard Ridge Campus – One of the main campuses of this large community college system.
  • Riley Archery Park – Unique 43-acre wooded park with archery ranges and trails.
  • Founders Sports Park & Events Center – Large sports complex with indoor fields, ice arena, velodrome, and banquet spaces.
  • Longacre House – Historic 19th century Greek Revival home moved to Heritage Park. Serves as a museum and event venue.
  • Farmington Players Barn Theater – Beloved community theater performing in a vintage barn since 1949.
  • Glen Oaks Golf Course – Top public 18-hole golf course in metro Detroit.
  • Farmington Hills Public Library – Modern anchor of the civic center complex.
  • Beaumont Hospital – Major regional hospital campus employing thousands.

These landmarks contribute to Farmington Hills’ identity and reflect important aspects of the community like history, recreation, commerce, and healthcare. The mix of old and new landmarks demonstrate the city’s heritage and its ongoing evolution.

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  • Head north on Main Street toward Oak Avenue. Turn right onto Oak Avenue and continue for 2 miles. Turn left onto Orchard Lake Road. Continue on Orchard Lake Road for 3 miles until you reach 29206 on the right. The destination will be a large red brick building.
  • Start out going west on Elm Street toward 5th Avenue. Take the 5th Avenue exit and turn right. Drive for approximately 4 miles and turn left onto Orchard Lake Road. Stay on Orchard Lake Road for 2.5 miles. 29206 Orchard Lake Road will be a tan colored office building on the left side.
  • Begin by taking Park Street south. After 1.5 miles, turn right onto Orchard Lake Road. Stay on Orchard Lake Road, going through 2 traffic lights. After the 2nd light, 29206 Orchard Lake Road will be 0.6 miles ahead on the right. It is a 3 story glass office building with a sign out front.