Sponsored by: City of Muskegon Downtown Development Authority
A new, energetic vibe is drawing retired baby boomers and young millennial professionals to waterfront living in downtown Muskegon, Michigan.
It’s created by three breweries, two distilleries and nearly 20 eating-drinking establishments in the Downtown Muskegon Social District, an expansive 12-block area where patrons can “walk a beer” down the main streets.
Events define the summer months in downtown Muskegon, from Friday night Parties in the Park in the city’s Hackley Park to festivals celebrating art, Christian music, motorcycles and everything Irish.
Downtown Muskegon is the center of the area’s history, art and culture with the Hackley & Hume Historic Site, the famed Muskegon Museum of Art, the Richardsonian Romanesque-style Hackley Public Library and the Frauenthal Center, home of a renovated 1,800-seat theater built in 1930.
“I like the idea that Muskegon has a big-city feel and that I can look out my window and see the skyline and the lake,” says Mary Husid, who rents a unit on the top floor of a redeveloped office building overlooking Muskegon Lake. “I love the ability to walk in downtown Muskegon to find the food, the drink, the people … find the fun.”
With 60 public works of art just steps from downtown living, art is paired with outdoor recreation in Muskegon. The 12-mile Lakeshore Trail for walkers and bikers links downtown to Lake Michigan beaches.
For generations, downtown Muskegon was the center of commerce and community life, but the historic transformation of the downtown area in the past decade makes it a sought-after place to live, too.
New apartments, condominiums and single-family homes have sprung up for people of all ages looking for Muskegon’s unique urban lakeshore lifestyle. Muskegon’s advantage is its housing affordability compared to other Lake Michigan communities and urban areas across the Upper Midwest.
Living options range from the apartments of Terrace Flats on the top of a class-A office building overlooking Muskegon Lake to the 70-plus, new single-family and duplex waterfront homes of Terrace Point Landing.
Renovations have created apartments out of an old woolen mill at The Amazon, out of a historic bank building with HighPoint Flats and from a former office furniture factory in WaterMark Lofts.
The newly constructed Lakeview Lofts offers apartments with balconies in a six-story building, and Western Place provides tri-level living on the main street with attached garages.
Residential demand has created waiting lists at most of the popular developments in downtown Muskegon, but new developments promise to increase supply in the coming months and years.
Cindy Larsen, the president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, owns a second-level flat in the heart of downtown. “Friends always want to come over to visit,” she says, “because I am where the action is.”