January 28, 2019. Mayor Paul Soglin recently announced updated plans for the Madison Public Market. This year-round market space, which will be home to local food and retail vendors, will now be located at the corner of First Street and East Johnson Street, rather than at the corner of First and East Washington Avenue. The city-owned Fleet Services building currently occupies this site and will undergo renovations to become the Public Market when Fleet Services relocates in 2020.
The previously proposed market site is next door to Fleet Services, where the privately-owned Washington Square shopping plaza is currently located. The future Public Market site sits directly next to Burr Jones Park along the Yahara River, provides more square footage than the original development plans, and the renovation of the existing building is projected to provide cost savings when compared to the costs of new building construction, according to the city. Plans for the market include an outdoor seating area, access to water and greenspace, a performance stage and vendor space.
Madison Public Market’s MarketReady Program, which is operated by the Northside Planning Council, works in collaboration with the city to support a cohort of 30 food and retail business entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds as they prepare to apply for a spot in the market, with the goal of creating a market that is representative of Madison’s population and cultural diversity.