In The News

September 2, 2022 The Capital Times wrote a summary of the Public Market’s current financial setback. The article What went wrong with the Madison Public Market? cites the City’s withdrawal from a EDA grant and increased inflation, the path to construction may be stymied for some time. The possibility that the Mayor won’t add the needed $5.5M in the capital budget means she will turf the issue to the Finance Committee, and eventually, to the Council members. Market supporters, including Alder Syed Abbas, who represents District 12 (where the Market will be located), are left wondering what comes next.

September 1, 2022 WORT FM Radio covered the critical Public Market funding shortfall on the 6:00 News show. The story, titled Public Market Struggles with Swelling Budget” reminds readers and listeners that he Madison Public Market is planned to be a year-round public market where small businesses and minority business owners can get their start. With vendors offering fresh produce, prepared food stands, merchant space for local artists, and community rooms, the venue would be a boon to the local economy. The mission is one that will enhance the economic opportunity for people of all types in Madison. The mission is very all about supporting the BIPOC community, and helping them become independent business people. The funding crisis will cause difficult choices to be made, some that may endanger the entire project. Read more or listen to the podcast.

August 31, 2022 A Wisconsin State Journal article stated that construction on the long-anticipated Madison Public Market, originally due to start in November, has been delayed until at least the early spring due to a $5.2 million financing gap that could also doom the project if funds aren’t secured. The city informed the nonprofit Madison Public Market Foundation, which will operate the facility on the city’s East Side, that it had to withdraw an application for a $3.4 million federal grant that was a key piece of the market’s financing package, and that rising construction costs have also added $1.8 million to the project. Read the full story here.

June 3, 2022 On Retail: Madison Public Market on Track for 2024 Opening: A Wisconsin State Journal article describes the long and winding road taken to make the Madison Public Market a nearly-realized entity, despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic. The article notes that construction bids for the project at the former Fleet Services building will be requested this summer, with renovations to begin in November. The vision for the market includes it being a year-round marketplace hosting local entrepreneurs, many who are minorities, women and others new to the world of business. Read full story

February 24, 2022  Capital Times: State awards Madison and Dane County $21 million for community development projects:  Madison and Dane County will receive $21 million from the state as part of the Neighborhood Investment Fund grant program for community development projects. The city will use $4 million to help construct and operate the long-awaited new Madison public market to connect vendors with consumers. The project has been years in the making, spanning multiple mayoral administrations. Progress continues toward a groundbreaking in fall of 2022 at the Fleet Services building at 200 N. First St. Read full story


October 25, 2020 Wisconsin State Journal: Q&A: Jasmine Banks to find permanent home for beauty business in Madison Public Market: Jasmine Banks shares her business goals and dreams, with the Public Market playing a vital role. Read full story

Sept. 24, 2020 Wisconsin State Journal: City Announces First 5 Public Market Vendors, with each getting $19,000: Officials planning the long-awaited Madison Public Market revealed the project’s first five vendors, and most of them will be familiar to those who follow food carts and restaurants in Madison. The owners of Caracas Empanadas y Más, Little Tibet, Melly Mell’s Catering, El Sabor de Puebla and Perfect Imperfections, which makes chemical-free body products and candles, each received coaching and other resources through the city’s “MarketReady” program, which helps entrepreneurs create stable business foundations. Each will also get $19,000 in seed money from the city. Read full story

Sept. 24, 2020  Channel 15: Madison Public Market project moves forward with first 5 permanent vendors: The Madison Public Market Foundation announces first five vendors of the Market. Read full story

Sept. 24, 2020  Channel 27: Public Market Foundation Announces first 5 vendors: The Madison Public Market Foundation held a press conference to announce the first five vendors. Read full story

Sept. 2, 2020  Wisconsin State Journal: Mayor’s $161.6 million capital budget keeps Public Market on track, boosts housing: Despite fiscal challenges, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway proposed Tuesday a capital budget for 2021 that keeps the long-envisioned Public Market on track. Read full story

August 12. 2020  The Capital Times: Editorial: Madison Public Market is an essential opportunity for the community: As a potential vendor, I write in support of the proposed Madison Public Market. With the economic damage resulting from COVID-19 and closure of many State Street businesses, this is an essential opportunity for the region’s diverse complement of small growers, producers, artists and entrepreneurs. Read full story

August 8, 2020  Channel 15: Madison mayor reprioritizes city budget, leaves Public Market project up in the air:  As the City faces a potential $20M budget shortfall, the Mayor is reprioritizing. “We think more than ever, the Market has a role to play in the recovery, so that’s what we’re really excited about. We’re doing everything we can to find additional sources of funding,” shared Laura Heisler, Madison Public Market Foundation. Read full story

Rendering of Public Market InteriorJuly 28, 2020  Madison365: Opinion: Defunding the Public Market is yet another divestment from communities of color: The Madison Public Market is a public investment in building wealth for communities of color by leveraging the power of local food. We know that with robust infrastructure and policies dedicated to racial equity, local food is an effective vehicle for antiracism work.  A public market alone cannot accomplish this, but a public market centered on equity and in partnership with the Healthy Retail Access Program, FEED Kitchens, WWBIC, UW-Extension, a terminal market, numerous other partners and last-mile delivery infrastructure can play a powerful role in boosting minority entrepreneurship and wealth-building. Read full story

July 1, 2020  Channel 3000: Editorial: Do not give up on Public Market: There are two essential elements of the public market project that must be emphasized. First the food sector is a critical strategic component of the greater Madison region’s economy moving forward. And second, the market’s design and operation embody exactly the kind of equity, diversity and inclusion our community requires. Read full story

July 1, 2020  Wisconsin State Journal: Mayor says economic fallout of COVID-19 threatens Madison Public Market: “Our Madison Public Market is a shovel-ready project that’s been in the making for nearly 20 years,” the Madison Public Market Foundation Board said. “Two years from now a Public Market will be exactly what our recovering local businesses and economy needs. Small businesses will need an affordable, supportive place to do business where they are stronger together. And our community will need a place like the market where we can once again come together and celebrate overcoming this pandemic.” Read full story

February 25, 2020  The Capital Times: Madison Public Market project moves forward with Plan Commission support: Madison’s public market project cleared another hurdle Monday after gaining approval for zoning changes from the Plan Commission. On Monday, the commission recommended that the City Council rezone the property at 202 N. First St. and create a planned development. These decisions pave the way to transform the current Fleet Services building into the future home of the Madison Public Market. Read full story

December 14, 2019  Channel 15: Future Public Market acts as a holiday market: 35 vendors are get festive at the Madison Public Market’s holiday market. Read full story

September 6, 2019 Capital Times: City unveils detailed Public Market designs: For the first time, officials on Thursday shared designs for the years-in-the-making Madison Public Market. “We have the honor of bringing physical life to all of the dreams and all of the thoughts and all of the brainstorming that has been happening,” Traci Lesneski, principal at MSR Design, said. Read full story

September 5, 2019 Channel 3000: New look at Madison Public Market: Madisonians have a chance to check out the city’s latest plans for its upcoming public market. Once finished, the market will be the biggest in the Midwest. Read full story

Sept 5, 2019. Channel 27: City unveils design for Madison Public Market: People in Madison finally got a look at what the Madison Public Market will look like. The city unveiled the nearly-complete design at a meeting at the Madison Municipal Building. It’ll have spaces for local merchants to sell their goods, a market kitchen and outdoor plazas. Read full story.

May 31, 2019 Northside News: At Public Market sneak peak, public and businesses get MarketReady: On Wednesday, May 8, Madisonians got their first look inside the future home of the Madison Public Market at 200 N. First St., which currently houses the city’s Fleet Services building. The Public Market Sneak Peek event featured members of the MarketReady program, a project of the Northside Planning Council working in collaboration with the City of Madison to put equity at the center of the market by supporting a diverse group of entrepreneurs as they prepare to apply for a location in the market. MarketReady businesses offered samples and sold goods ranging from prepared foods to jewelry and body care products. Read full story

May 9, 2019. Wisconsin State Journal: Preview of Madison Public Market offers taste of what’s to come: As rain poured down from dark skies Wednesday, the future home of the Madison Public Market was alive with excitement as visitors got a flavor of what the long-anticipated East Side venue will be like when it opens in two years. Over the course of a two-hour open house at what is now the city’s Fleet Services building at 200 N. First St., the large room with 20-foot ceilings was almost always full. More than 1,000 people attended the event, according to Madison Public Market Foundation estimates. This was the first time the public could tour the space, which has been a long time coming. Advocates have been pushing for the project for at least 14 years, with delays in part stemming from choosing a location. Read full story

May 8, 2019 NBC15: Madison Public Market opens its doors for a sneak peek: The City of Madison invited the public to attend an open house to see the building that will become the future Madison Public Market. Hundreds flocked to the old City of Madison Fleet Services building to get a taste of vendors that will be at the Madison Public Market. “They have great food,” Al Cooper said. “They included all sectors of the community.” Cooper has lived in Dane County for decades. He is excited for the Madison Public Market and thinks it will bring a lot to the East side community. Read full story

May 7, 2019 Wisconsin State Journal: Madison offers peak of Madison Public Market: The 66-year-old building with sweeping interior open spaces and 20-foot ceilings, huge bay doors, and expansive rows of windows is poised for new life. Already, there is a sense of big things ahead for the two-story industrial space, currently the city’s Fleet Services building on the East Side, which has been chosen as the future home of the $13.2 million Madison Public Market. The Public Market, advocates and city officials say, will be a year-round, inclusive and welcoming community destination featuring a diverse group of entrepreneurs offering fresh produce, culturally diverse prepared food, locally made food products, and handcrafted arts and crafts. Read full story

April 23, 20019: Badger Herald: MarketReady program supports diversity among entrepreneurs: When Josie Chu’s mother passed away and Chu inherited her cookbooks, she had no idea that an old recipe for sauce tucked in the back pages would soon become an entire business. Chu now owns the condiment company Madame Chu Delicacies, and like many other entrepreneurs in Madison, has faced various barriers while building her business. But programs like The Food Enterprise and Economic Development Kitchen and MarketReady have given her the tools to navigate such obstacles. FEED and MarketReady are both part of several organizations that work to support populations that face historic barriers to entrepreneurship. Read full story

March 7, 2019: Isthmus: Market Equity: Public markets across the country are designed for different purposes — some to retail high-end food to attract business people and tourists. Mayor Paul Soglin has said the Madison Public Market is designed to provide universal access to affordable healthy food throughout the city. Read full story

Rendering of Public Market InteriorJanuary 29, 2019  Madison Magazine: City with a heart – Businesses and local collaborate for nonprofit: Imagine a bustling, vibrant, 45,000-square-foot public market showcasing the best of Madison’s local food and handmade goods. A treasured destination and important economic driver melding a 21st century local food economy with innovation and growth, particularly for communities that traditionally face barriers to entrepreneurism. Read full story

December 18, 2019 Madison Magazine: Madison Public Market updates location plan: There’s been talk of a public market in Madison for years. Mayor Paul Soglin moved the idea forward when he created the Public Market Development Committee to research a market in 2012. The city council approved the idea in 2015 with the original plan to move into the City Fleet Services building at 200 First St. The proposed location changed since then, but as of this month the current plan is back to the Fleet Services building. Read full story

December 10, 2018  Capital City Hues: Members of Madison’s Public Market in Waiting: While the location of the Madison Public Market itself may e in question, there is no question that the vendors who have been chosen to populate the market are ready to sell their goods and services. This holiday, you can visit the market website’s commerce page and explore what they have in store for the holidays. Read full story

December 8, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal: Madison officials embrace Fleet Services building for Public Market: With land costs too high to put a $13.2 million Madison Public Market on East Washington Avenue, city officials are embracing an option to reuse the nearby city Fleet Services building for the market. Read full story

December 2, 2018 NBC15: A look inside Madison’s first public market: Madison Public Market Foundation board member Anne Reynolds and MarketReady merchant Monica O’Connell of Curtis & Cake chat with NBC15’s Amy Carlson. Read full story

November 20, 2018 WORT: 8 O’clock Buzz with Jamaal Stricklin & Carmell Jackson: MarketReady merchants Jamaal Stricklin (SuperCharge! Foods) and Carmell Jackson (Melly Mell’s Catering) sat down with 8 O’Clock Buzz host Haywood Simmons to talk about MarketReady’s holiday offerings and the Public Market development. Listen to full story

November 1, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal: Major gifts launch fundraising drive for Madison Public Market: Donors have ignited a private fundraising campaign for the coming $13.2 million Madison Public Market on the East Side, pledging contributions totaling nearly $1 million for the project. Read full story

September 24, 2017  Meet the Entrepreneurs being groomed for the Madison Public Market:  The Madison Public Market’s MarketReady program has launched, supporting 30 entrepreneurs who hope to launch their businesses in the Market. Read full story

September 24, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal: Food Innovation Center can boost availability of local foods in region: If a vibrant Market Hall filled with vendors, events and music delivers the pizzazz to the Madison Public Market, the adjacent Food Innovation Center offers enormous potential to increase the availability of local foods throughout the region, supporters say. Read full story

“Boardman Clark provided a lead gift to the Public Market because it resonates with many of our firm’s values, including the commitment to sustainability and social equity, and because it creates an opportunity to partner with the City and drive economic development, with a focus on entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented communities.” - Richard Heinemann, Boardman Clark

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