Hazel Park Real Estate
In October 1882, a group of farmers gathered in a home located at the present-day city hall and had a meeting, requesting for a school to be built. A one-room school was eventually built in 1883 and later expanded to two rooms. In 1884, John W. Benjamine petitioned the state of Michigan to form a school district out of Royal Oak Township. Benjamine, who was Royal Oak Township's School Inspector, decided to name it Hazel Park School District 8, after the surplus amount of Hazelnut bushes in the area.
In 1920, another building, the Thomas W. Lacey School, was built on present-day Woodruff Street. The original Hazel Park school was sold to Frank Neusius, who used it to open a barber shop and a grocery market. The rapid increase in school children caused the nascent school district to add four grade schools and build a larger building at the central location also called the Lacey School, which became the community focal point for its high school students. The continued population growth of the community led to the construction of Hazel Park High School, so the old high school became Lacey Junior High School, located at John R and Nine Mile Roads.
Hazel Park experienced significant growth as the Ford Motor Company, based in nearby Highland Park, began to expand. Hospitals, offices and shops began to thrive around the area of 9 Mile Road. The electric Stephenson Line was a convenient way for commuters to trolley to Highland Park and Detroit. In 1924, Hazel Park's first traffic light, post office and Deputy Sheriff's office were established. The city was incorporated in 1941.
During the 1930s and 1940s, there were many rallies and community events involving and eventually leading to the revitalization of the city. After the city's incorporation, running water was provided to all areas.
In 1942, the Elias Brothers, John, Fred and Louis Elias, established a diner in Hazel Park. This diner, the Dixie Drive-In, was one of the first in the Midwest to offer curbside services. In 1952, the diner was franchised as a Big Boy restaurant; Louis Elias went on to run for Mayor of Hazel Park, and was in office from 1953 to 1961. The Elias brothers continued to establish Big Boy restaurants throughout the Metro Detroit area until finally purchasing the franchiser in 1983.
The clean-up of the city paved the way for the return of thousands of soldiers from World War II. Housing demand was very high in the area, causing a boom in construction. Many of the bungalows in the city were built just shortly after the war.
Hazel Park Raceway opened in 1949. It is currently the only track in Michigan offering live thoroughbred racing.
The Interstate 75 (I-75) freeway was fully completed through Hazel Park in 1966. The area where it is now was Stephenson Highway, which has a current purpose as a service drive. Similarly, I-696 was constructed through the neighboring city of Madison Heights in 1979, joining the two freeways and creating a busy junction with I-75, part of which extends into Hazel Park's North end.