Community Profile
Spotlight on Petoskey

Scenic, charming and historic, Petoskey is a coastal, resort community in Northern Michigan along the shore of Little Traverse Bay. Serving as the county seat and economic center of Emmet County, this Midwestern town boasts regional retail, commercial and professional services opportunities for families, professionals and businesses of all ages and sizes. Its dense suburban neighborhoods and treasured downtown district is complemented by surrounding forested hills and farmlands. Local, antique shops and coffee hotspots and unique arts and culture offerings is why the city continues to make it on the radar of national “America’s 100 Best Places to Live, Work and Retire” lists and win the hearts of those who visit.

Why Petoskey?

Live (Talent)

RRC Certified Logo

The community is home to a number of young professionals and retirees.

  • The population of Petoskey—5,707 residents—closely resembles that of Emmet County. About half of the population is under the age of 45,  a sign of a robust workforce and family-based community. 
  • With a higher than average walk score, this charming community has a suburban feel with urban qualities and energy. Home values are affordable and closely resemble the median home value of $178,300 in Emmet County. Rent in Petoskey is more affordable than the county overall and there are plenty of housing options to choose from.
  • The community and surrounding region is served by the state-of-the-art McLaren Northern Michigan health care center. 
  • The public school system is rated above average with a student teacher ratio of 18 to 1 and a graduation rate of 92%. The area is also home to North Central Michigan Community College and close to Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, MI. 

Work (Business)

  • Much like the Northwest Michigan region, highly-skilled professionals make up the majority of the City’s population. All of whom are supporting businesses in and outside the City. Additionally, a variety of businesses support the growing and dynamic tourism and medical industries.
  • About 20% of the 17,700  jobs in Emmet County are in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. Tourism-related sectors, like Accommodation & Food Services and Retail Trade, are also strong industries, over 30% job concentration.
  • The City is home to a large medical employer, McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, who is embarking on a $175 million expansion of its medical campus.
  • The downtown district is a mix of multi-generational entrepreneurial business owners. The historic businesses such as Cutlers, Grandpa Shorters or Reid Furniture sync well with new business growth be it breweries and others. Home-grown, large employers such as Kilwins, American Spoon Foods and Petoskey Plastics serve as a testament to starting and successfully scaling a business in the area. 
  • Proximity to two major state highways, U.S. 131 and U.S. 31 and current rail access is a key economic driver for businesses and industry growth, such as manufacturing.

Play (Community)

  • As a resort community, developments such as the Bay Harbor offer fun and cultural experiences for residents and visitors. Diversity in the community?
  • The Historic Gaslight Shopping District is more than 100 years old. Experience a variety of local, independent shops, boutiques and galleries. You can also lodge in town in its century-old hotel, contemporary lodgings and/or new condo hotels.
  • The abundance of natural resources and scenic beauty presents a variety of recreational opportunities. Catch the great views of Traverse Bay at Bayfront Park or go fishing, and/or picnic at any of the community’s other lakefront parks. The City is Harbor Springs shopping district, Mackinac Island resort and hike in the summer, cross-country ski in the winter. Beautiful trails throughout the area are an added luxury for families seeking to walk, run or bike.
  • Just outside of the City is the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. Enjoy its 527-seat theater and a host of dance, film, music ensembles and other cultural offerings year-round. You can lounge in its outdoor or rooftop patios pre or post event, or travel into the City to view an art gallery at the Crooked Tree Arts Center, or learn about the history of Petoskey at the Little Traverse Historical Museum.

The Petoskey area makes up the City of Petoskey, Bear Creek, and Resort Townships. The area has become a premier resort and coastal destination with its diverse outdoor offerings and historic charm.


Opportunities to Invest

900 Emmet Street — Gruler Site
The former lumber yard is within the Old Town Emmet Neighborhood and houses two pole barns, but mostly vacant. The site is connected to the Central Business District by the Downtown Greenway Corridor, a linear park with a 10’ multi use trail to be completed in 2018.
View Opportunity
200 East Lake Street
The site is an entire city block on the west edge of the historic Downtown Petoskey fronting US 31 with excellent views of Little Traverse Bay. The property is development ready with all available utilities and excavated for the potential of underground parking.
View Opportunity
Darling Lot — 421 Petoskey Street
The site is an existing municipal parking lot on the southern edge of historic Downtown Petoskey. The site is viewed as a strong catalyst for both downtown economic development/job creation and investment in second and third story downtown housing opportunities.
View Opportunity
Percentage of Non-White Population
Percent Growth Rate since 2010
Percentage of Jobs in Emmet County in Healthcare Industry
Percentage of Jobs in Accommodation & Food Services and Retail Trade
Total Jobs in Emmet County
% (#) of Adults in Emmet County with Associate's Degree or Higher

No information to show currently. Check back soon.


No information to show currently. Check back soon.

Economic Development Ecosystem Map

This map shows some of the many organizations in this county providing economic development related services, such as workforce training, development finance, or technical advising for businesses. Use the dropdown in the upper left hand corner to filter by People, Investment, and Place.   

“People” covers organizations that focus on early childhood care, workforce training, equity and diversity, and talent recruitment and retention.  

“Investment” includes organizations that focus on industry cluster support, small business investment and technical assistance, innovation and technology development, and real estate and commercial development.  

“Place”-focused organizations include tourism, arts and culture, and recreation organizations, planning and development entities, infrastructure and utility providers, and housing organizations.


Electric Provider(s): 

City of Petoskey

Natural Gas Provider(s): 

Ms. Carla Bribbs
Regional Manager
DTE Energy


Fixed Wireless Provider(s):

DSL Providers: AT&T, RACC Enterprises, Eaglenet, Inc.
Cable Provider: Charter Spectrum
Wireless Provider:
Agri-Valley Broadband
RACC Enterprises LLC
Cherry Capital COnnection
Scott Cook
SpeedConnect, LLC 

Water Provider(s):  

City of Petoskey

Economic Development

Recent Private Investments

McLaren Northern Michigan
Jobs Created/Retained: N/A
McLaren Northern Michigan is a 202-bed regional hospital located in Petoskey, Michigan serving residents in 22 counties across northern Lower Michigan and the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula. The hospital is adding a new wing and making renovations consisting of 92 new private patient rooms, state-of-the-art larger operating rooms, observation beds, converting 22 current patient rooms to private. The additional 175,000-square-foot facility will feature amenities and services focused on the health and well-being of patients, as well as the most advanced equipment and surgical technologies. Size (sqft or acres): 175,000 | Capex: n/a
200 East Lake Street
Jobs Created/Retained: N/A
Owned by Howard Property Partners, a local commercial and residential property developer serving the Northern Michigan area, this empty lot property and downtown block is known as “the hole.” Proposed development includes a hotel and three mixed-use residential and retail buildings. Size (sqft or acres): 29,000 | Capex: n/a

Recent Public Works Projects

U.S. 31 Reconstruction and Alignment
Cost: $2.4 Million
The project will involve U.S. 31 from (but not including) the Mitchell Street bridge over the Bear River to roughly the eastern Petoskey city limit at the intersection with Fairview Avenue in Bay View. The work will involve complete reconstruction of the roadway and realigning much of the segment about 20 feet farther away from Little Traverse Bay (roughly to the southeast).
Total Population
Percent Growth Since 2010
Percentage of Population Under 45
Percentage of the Population That is White
% (#) of Adults in Emmet County with an Associate Degree
% (#) of Adults in Emmet County with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher
Labor Force
Percentage of Workers Who Live In & Are Employed In Emmet County
Housing Units
Seasonal Housing
Homeownership Rate
Percentage of Housing Units Built in the Past 40 Years
Household Income
Poverty Rate


Amy Tweeten
City Planner — City of Petoskey
(231) 347-2500

Nikki Devitt
Petoskey Regional Chamber
(231) 347-4150