City of Madison Mayor Soglin Announces Public Market Plans for Fleet Services Building


Today, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin will officially announce an update about the future home of the Madison Public Market. The location of the Public Market will continue to stay at the same overall near east side location, but the Market building site will shift over 250 feet from the corner of First Street and East Washington to the adjacent City-owned Fleet Services property at the corner of First Street and E. Johnson St.

Previously, the City had been engaged in ongoing conversations with the owners of the Washington Plaza Shopping Center to locate the Market within their private development. Now that the Fleet Services Division has a plan and budget authority to relocate to a new facility, Mayor Soglin and his team believe the soon-to-be vacated Fleet Services building is a much stronger fit for achieving our community’s vision for the Public Market.

“I’m happy to share another important step forward in our Madison Public Market project. This refocus toward utilizing an existing City asset is exactly what we need to develop a Public Market that will support community-based economic development and become one of the most treasured and visited destinations in Madison,” said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin. “The change better enables us to build the dynamic, diverse Public Market that our community wants and deserves.”

Mayor Soglin highlights the following benefits to locating the Market within Fleet Services building (existing space pictured right):

  • Same overall location: Because it’s the same overall location, all work done so far including site analysis, fundraising, and the MarketReady program will be consistent and unchanged.
  • 60% larger space: The Fleet Services building is 45,000 square feet, compared to 28,000 square feet in the previous Shopping Center redevelopment. The larger space will enable us to better meet the overwhelming response by interested vendors (nearly 200 entrepreneurs have submitted formal interest), in addition to better achieving our plans for the Food Innovation Center at the Market, a regional food hub to expand local food distribution, processing, and other important systems needed to better meet the demand for local food across the County.
  • 4 times the lot size: Fleet Services is on 3.5 acres, offering much more space to build the outdoor plaza, including outdoor seating, a performance stage, and perhaps food cart areas. The Market will still be connected to Burr Jones Field and the Yahara River.
  • Sound/unique building: The building is well-suited to conversion to a public market with lots of potential character (large clear-span areas, mezzanine level, etc,)
  • Added car and bike parking: We’ll have room for significantly more parking.
  • More accessible for large delivery trucks and traffic flow: Being located off of the corner of E. Johnson instead of E. Washington, makes more a much imporoved traffic flow for large and small vehicles alike.
  • Sustainability: Reusing an existing building is more sustainable than building new and the flat roof allows for consideration of green roof options.

The Mayor adds that the owners of the adjacent shopping center can move forward with their redevelopment project independently but still integrated with the market. This project continues to move forward with housing, retail, and potentially a hotel. The private development will continue to be a huge asset for supporting the health of the Market.

The budget for the Market at Fleet Services is expected to remain consistent with the City’s approved $13 million budget that was reauthorized in the 2019 capital budget. Recently Minneapolis-based architect MSR along with local firms Ken Saiki Design and Vierbicher were recommended by the City staff as the project’s design team. MSR is a great fit for the project as they have strong experience in retrofit projects, such as Madison’s Central Library and the Madison Municipal Building.

As the future operator of the Market, the Madison Public Market Foundation has already raised nearly $1 million of the $4 million private capital needed to fund the project. Madison Public Market Foundation President Jamaal Stricklin shares that the Foundation is optimistic about the Fleet Services location. “The funders that we’ve shared this news with see the positive attributes of this change and continue to be excited and supportive of our progress on creating our Public Market. The Foundation believes that the shift over to Fleet Services has wonderful potential for better achieving many of our diversity, sustainability, and local food economy goals. We’re eager to move forward on making our Public Market a reality.”

The updated timeline for the project will become more precise once the design process commences and Fleet Services begins construction at their new site.  Current estimates are that Fleet Services will move to their new facility in 2020, allowing the renovation for the Public Market to be completed in 2021. For now, all key stakeholders including the City of Madison, Madison Public Market Foundation, and current private project funders are all in agreement that this project will continue to make strong, forward progress.

 

For more information, please contact Dan Kennelly at 608-267-1968

MarketReady 2018: By the Numbers and the People Behind the Numbers


Special thanks to our guest blogger, James Shulkin, member of the Madison Public Market Advisory Council!

It’s been just over a year since the inception of the MarketReady Program, an effort to prepare a number of talented chefs, makers and other entrepreneurs with the skills needed to create successful businesses. Funded by the City of Madison and launched in partnership with North Side Planning Council, FEED Kitchens, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation and Dane County University of Wisconsin Extension, MarketReady provides business training, mentorship, and start-up capital ($37,500 in 2018) to a diverse group of thirty area merchants. The goal has always been that, with the right kind of encouragement, these individuals might some day become successful vendors at the highly anticipated Madison Public Market.

As 2018 comes to a close, we look back on the resounding success of both the MarketReady Program and the individuals that have contributed so much to these efforts.

The MarketReady vendors are a special group. They are mostly women (63%) and people of color (83%). Thirty three percent (33%) are first generation immigrants. In fact, MarketReady focuses on supporting communities that face structural barriers to business ownership. Specifically, the program was created to Encourage and stimulate the creation and acceleration of businesses owned and operated by women, persons of color, the economically disadvantaged and others in need of a new career path.

The majority of these businesses offer food products, with some selling textiles, artwork, body care products or other services. You may be familiar with some of the more visible vendors such as Laurel Burleson (Ugly Apple Café), Josey Chu (Madame Chu), Luis Dompablo (Caracas Empanadas), Jasmine Banks (Perfect Imperfections), Donale Richards (Off the Block Enterprises) and Monica O’Conell (Curtis & Cake), to name a few. All of the MarketReady merchants can be found here.

Led by Ian Aley, MarketReady Coordinator, and Michael Miller, City of Madison Business Assistance Specialist, the organization’s staff provides and arranges for training of all kinds, providing financial services, technical assistance, referrals and access to micro-grants.

“The MarketReady staff and I are humbled and inspired by the group’s hard work, sense of humor, and willingness to share ideas,” says Aley. “We facilitate connections, but so much of the creativity, experience, and strength comes from within this group of entrepreneurs.”

During the first year of the MarketReady program, direct services to the vendors included:

  • educational events and workshops (1,046 hours)
  • direct business consultation (585 hours)
  • business coaching (181 hours)
  • peer-to-peer support sessions (29)

Partnerships with the University of Wisconsin Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, the law firm Boardman & Clark and Heartland Credit Union have provided consultation and coaching to participants.

The MarketReady vendors have also given back to the community, including directly to those future Public Market visitors particularly anxious to sample product offerings. To date, more than 2,000 people have attended three “Taste of the Market” events featuring many of the vendors. In addition, 14 MarketReady participants offered 37 classes at Meadowridge Public Library, providing an opportunity to test recipes, make sales, and connect with neighbors across the city.

“We look forward to the opening of the Public Market,” adds Aley. “In the meantime, this community of vendors will continue to develop new product lines, hone their business plans, and build relationships with customers and each other. There is a strong sense in the group that the success of one business in the Public Market will be tied to the success of their neighbors. We will continue to build capacity and connections. When the Public Market opens, we will be ready.”