The Heart of the Muskegon community right on Muskegon Lake

Muskegon is a waterfront community and its downtown is an integral part of the Port of Muskegon directly on beautiful Muskegon Lake.

Downtown Muskegon is located in the city of Muskegon, a municipality of 38,500 people, in Muskegon County, which has a diverse population of 172,000. Muskegon is a proud part of West Michigan — an economically and socially vibrant region of 1.2 million people.

Downtown Muskegon is along the southern shore of Muskegon Lake from the end of Western Avenue on the west to Muskegon Avenue on the south, Ottawa Avenue on the east and the lakeshore on the north. An integral part of the Nelson Neighborhood, Downtown Muskegon includes the waterfront, Midtown, Lower Western Avenue and Pine Street districts.

The Vision

Downtown Muskegon envisions an attractive, vibrant and profitable downtown, teeming with positive economic, social and cultural activity 365 days-a-year. Downtown Muskegon’s Vision Statement is:

In 2018, downtown Muskegon is universally accessible, has enviable public transit options for a city its size, is pedestrian friendly, and provides a warm environment where all are welcome. Its historic commercial buildings and façades have been repaired and fully utilized, and sustainable, appropriate infill development has occurred creating a vibrant street wall, full of commercial activity.

Downtown Muskegon has well maintained streetscape amenities and the decorative concrete and wrought iron fixture streetscape has been extended to take in the entire downtown district. Public gathering places have been completed and boast child friendly and cultural amenities.

In 2018 downtown Muskegon is an event capital with its institutions operating at full capacity and with many top quality festivals, ethnic celebrations, special events, retail promotions and marketing activities. Downtown Muskegon sets the standard for downtown promotional activities with high quality, innovative marketing practices and materials that sell downtown Muskegon.

In 2018, downtown Muskegon has a diverse retail business base with more specialty shops, high traffic service businesses, restaurants and outdoor cafes, many of them destination businesses, attracting people from all walks of life. Retail businesses are located up and down Western Avenue, have consistent store hours and are open seven days a week. Most upper floors of downtown Muskegon commercial buildings are being used as apartments, offices for healthcare and other professional services, location-neutral businesses and additional retail space. This economic development is spurred by a new convention/trade show facility, educational institution facilities, a movie theater, and the move of the farmer’s market into the downtown area.

In 2018, downtown Muskegon has an award-winning,revitalization organization that serves as a model for other communities, is stably funded, fully-staffed and has a full and active complement of volunteer corps. The community has worked cooperatively and collaboratively in achieving this new vision for downtown Muskegon.

This vision in many ways stands on the shoulders of the Imagine Muskegon visioning project from 2002. Click here to access a PDF version (4.8 MBs) of the presentation.

Muskegon Back Then

Noteworthy Muskegonites

  • Iggy Pop, punk singer
  • Nancy Anne Fleming, Miss America 1961
  • Vonda Kay Van Dyke, Miss America 1965
  • Joseph Beyrle, only soldier to have served in both the US Army and the Soviet Army in World War II
  • John Beyrle, son of Joseph Beyrle, appointed as United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation on May 13, 2008, confirmed July 3, 2008.
  • David Leestma, astronaut
  • Captain Jonathan Walker, “The Man With the Branded Hand”, abolitionist
  • Harry Morgan, actor in popular TV series M*A*S*H.
  • Frank Stanton, past president of CBS
  • Mark Grimmette, American luger
  • Earl Morrall, former NFL quarterback
  • Edmund Szoka, Roman Catholic Cardinal and former President of the Governorate of Vatican City State
  • Richard Versalle, opera singer
  • Gwenneth Bean, opera singer
  • Carly Jibson, broadway (Hairspray)
  • Rocky Marquette, actor know for roles in Shallow Ground and Mortuary

Community Data

Business Type Number Downtown % of Downtown Business Total Employees % of Downtown Employees
Retail 44 13.5% 250 6.4%
Service 145 44.7% 1,400 35.9%
Restaurants/Breweries 24 7.4% 220 5.6%
Manufacturing 6 1.8% 385 9.8%
Government Branches 37 11.4% 1,100 28.2%
Legal 24 7.4% 165 4.2%
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate 44 13.5% 370 9.5%


Number of Families in Muskegon Area

Number of Households in Muskegon Area

Festival Attendees (Annually)

Museum Visitors (Annually)


Population Details

Demographic 3 Mile Radius From Downtown 5 Mile Radius From Downtown Lakeshore Area
Population 58,926 103,666 200,759
Average Income (Projected Value*) $42,430 $49,801 $55,410
Median Age 33.7 37.0 39.0


Percentage of Households that are Families

Per Capita Income

Median Home Value for Muskegon Area

Have an idea that could make Muskegon better? Need help learning about Downtown Muskegon? Contact us!
380 W. Western Ave Suite 202 Muskegon, MI 49440 Phone: 231 724 3180
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