Sterling Heights is a city in Macomb County in the state of Michigan. As of the 2006 census, the city had a total population of 127,991. Sterling Heights was incorporated as a city in 1968. Prior to incorporation, it was known as Sterling Township.
The city is home to the Freedom Hill County Park. Located on Metro Parkway, the park began hosting concerts in 1999 in its 7,000-seat outdoor theater. To calm residents near the park who complained about the loud music coming from the amphitheater, Freedom Hill built a 14-foot-high sound wall and a huge roof to cover the pavilion seating area. Controversy continued in the city with the 2006 planned amendment from city council that considered amending its fire code to include a requirement that all businesses post a premises identification sign in English, in order to facilitate the ability of first responders to locate an emergency call. On July 13, 2006, the city received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan expressing its viewpoint that the English-language requirement for business signs was discriminatory.
The August 2006 issue of Money magazine listed Sterling Heights as No. 19 on its list of the 90 "Best Small Cities" in which to live; the city was also ranked the sixth safest city in the U.S. with a population between 100,000 - 499,999, according to Morgan Quitno's 2006 analysis of crime rates. The city is home to a mix of commercial and residential properties with a one-mile wide industrial corridor bisecting the city on its north-south axis. Major industrial firms with a presence in Sterling Heights include DaimlerChrysler, Visteon, General Dynamics, publishing plants for the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, and many smaller auto suppliers. Chrysler's Sterling Heights Stamping Plant is the largest metal stamping plant in the world. The city is also home to Lakeside Mall, which features 180 stores. It was the largest mall in the Detroit metro area in terms of square footage until Great Lakes Crossing opened in 1998.