Downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan covers over one million square feet and extends over 100 acres of land along the St. Mary’s River. The center is bounded by the Soo Locks on the north, a warehousing district on the west, turn-of-the century housing on the east, and the long commercial strip of Ashmun Street to the south. The downtown district serves as the principal shopping district for a three-county trade area that encompasses more than 55,000 people, with an average household income of nearly $34,000 (2009 data). Sault Ste. Marie’s sister city by the same name, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, lies directly across the St. Mary’s River, and boasts a population of over 80,000 people. Downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan benefits greatly from regular Canadian shoppers and visitors.

In addition to its central role as the major retail center in the eastern Upper Peninsula, downtown Sault Ste. Marie also functions as a major medical, office and governmental complex which is composed of an array of city, county, state, and federal offices, the War Memorial Hospital, and the headquarters for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Perhaps most unique to downtown Sault Ste. Marie is the concentration of seasonal tourist shops focused along Portage Avenue and serving up to half a million tourists in town to visit the world-famous Soo Locks, among many other attractions.

The diversity of economic magnets in downtown Sault Ste. Marie offers great challenges as well as unique opportunities not generally available to other downtowns in the State. Downtown Sault Ste. Marie welcomes you to enjoy our wonderful city, whether you are a tourist, a visitor passing through, a local resident, an entrepreneur or an investor.

Downtown Sault is a thriving community full of independent business owners who provide excellent shopping and dining experiences, and pride themselves on customer service. A destination for entrepreneurs and tourists, Downtown Sault is a commercial anchor for the Eastern Upper Peninsula. The downtown business district has experienced significant growth over the last decade, and it now offers more than 130 retail businesses to satisfy all of your shopping needs.

Justin Knepper

Downtown Manager, City of Sault Sainte Marie