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Novi—the perfect place to live

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February 22nd, 2011

Retirees who have discovered Novi, Mich., home to Fox Run, give the city an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Results from an October 2010 resident survey showed that 70% of respondents rated the city good or excellent for retirement living. Novi is roughly a 30-minute drive from Detroit s urban beat and its cultural, artistic, and athletic events. Its location less than one mile from Twelve Oaks Mall, one of Michigan s largest, has earned it a reputation as a shopper s heaven. And its abundance of natural attractions Walled Lake, the 400-acre Lakeshore Park, and Fuerst Park in the center of Novi also make it a green retreat.

Community spirit

But the unique thing about our community is its spirit, says Novi Director of Communications Sheryl Walsh. It s a vibrant neighborhood that at its heart has a quaint, small-town feel. It has that hometown charm and it s an extremely safe community. Or, as City Manager Clay Pearson says: What a lot of people and cities are striving for, we ve got! Last June, Novi opened a new, 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art library on its civic center campus overlooking Fuerst Park. It s a testament to people who think long term and value lifelong learning, Pearson says. He calls Fox Run a fantastic partner for providing jobs and contributing to the city s tax base. And he applauds it for putting down solid roots and engaging in civic life. Fox Run fits perfectly with the Novi DNA because of its commitment to high quality service and long-term [thinking,] he says.

State of the city

For its part, Fox Run couldn t have chosen a better location. Novi is thriving, says Mayor Landry. In his State of the City address this January, he updated constituents on how the city fared in 2010. With respect to the current economic debate over whether to increase revenue or cut spending, Landry says Novi does both. One example from the expense side: We ve cut 16% of our employee force since fiscal 2008, says the mayor. We ve done it quietly through attrition, by combining different city departments, and through greater efficiency. It s a significant number. As for raising revenue: The only way cities do that is by increasing taxes or increasing the property value against which your millage [mills per dollar] produces taxes and you do [the latter] by attracting businesses. Novi is good at that, courting health-related and auto-industry-related high-tech businesses in particular. When Providence Park Hospital first received approval to build in Novi, We looked at our zoning map and made sure we had enough land around it zoned medical business that we could attract those businesses, says Landry. Indeed, the businesses physicians offices, radiology, physical therapy, and other health-related companies have come. We ve developed into quite a medical center, Landry says. Most businesses considering a move to Michigan want a MEGA (Michigan Economic Growth Authority), an abatement of state taxes. Novi participates in the MEGA and rates high as a business-destination city. Michigan has issued more tax abatements to companies planning to move to Novi than to any other city in the state, Landry says. Like Pearson, Landry is also a big fan of the Fox Run community. I was on the planning commission when Erickson first came before us and proposed Fox Run. They are the only business that has come through with everything they promised.

The Novi-Fox Run connection

We love Fox Run, says Novi Director of Communications Sheryl Walsh. Their residents want to be involved. In fact, collaborations between the two communities date to Fox Run s opening in 2003 when the fourth-grade class from next-door neighbor Franklin Road Christian School delivered a welcome to the neighborhood bouquet. That launched a partnership that still continues monthly get-togethers with Fox Run s adopted grandparents group. A relationship with Novi s library began six years ago when Eve Boicourt launched the Fox Run Book Club and asked Novi s librarians for enough copies of each month s title to supply every club member. Fox Run s van makes regular trips to and from the library, and on club days the van driver delivers stacks of that month s book right to Fox Run. Fox Run s Mystery Book Club relies on the library, too. Communicating via e-mail, Chair Jane Schimeck lists favored authors and a librarian lets her know the titles and number of books available through the library s network. Schimeck reserves her individual books through the library s website and uses the new facility s drive-through lane for pickups and returns. Come May, Fox Run residents will add finishing touches to their float for Novi s Memorial Day parade. It s their second year to participate. Novi thinks a lot of us, and we think a lot of Novi, says Paul Benivegna who will help lead the project. The float is a good way to get residents fired up. They re looking forward to it because it was such a big success last year. Residents also volunteer at Providence Park Hospital. It s a great partnership, says Manager of Volunteer Services Kathy Zaguroli. Our staff says they don t know what they d do without the volunteers. They bring skills and knowledge from their life experiences; they offer a great listening ear as well as make small talk; and they take customer service one step farther. The hospital doesn t accept every applicant. But the volunteers from Fox Run have been enthusiastic, customer-service-oriented individuals, Zaguroli says. Part of that comes from being in the Fox Run environment. Everyone working there and living there displays a family-teamwork attitude. We d welcome more Fox Run volunteers.

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