How the Public Market will Benefit the Regional Economy

How the Public Market will Benefit the Regional Economy

Broad Rationale: 

  • The proposed Madison Public Market would be an essential step in the region’s economic recovery.
  • This is a win-win for everyone and truly deserves the community’s support.

Economic Development:

  • The Public Market’s main purpose is community based economic development. 
  • The Market will have a significant positive economic impact – creating jobs and supporting new businesses, with an emphasis on supporting women- and persons across the entire broad spectrum of the BIPOC community. 
  • The Market will be an accelerator for local food and artisan businesses including home-based production companies seeking to take their business to the next level.
  • The Market would offer business start-up opportunities to small companies and individual growers, producers, artists and craftspeople. The emphasis is on allowing these small businesses to rent space on a part-time, low commitment and low overhead basis.
  • Regional infrastructure supports food and beverage production, processing, packaging, and distribution. Several food-related incubators, such as the FEED Kitchen, the Garver Feed Mill and even the Dane County Farmers’ Market support a growing number of local entrepreneurs, while established dairy, beverage and food product companies thrive. 
  • The Market will serve as an incubator for diverse entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. The City’s innovative MarketReady Program has prepared 30 entrepreneurs through an intensive program of business coaching, training, and small grants. The MarketReady participants are a passionate, committed and diverse group (83% are people of color, 60% are women, and 33% are first generation immigrants).
  • Community Benefit:  The vibrant art-filled atmosphere of the Fleet Services building will be Madison’s next great public place; repurposing an ideally suited building that the City already owns makes economic sense and promotes sustainability.
  • The soon-to-be vacant Fleet Services building, in the heart of the vibrant Capitol East neighborhood, is the gateway to downtown, close to the airport and the interstate and will spur economic growth and activity for the surrounding area. The vibrant art-filled atmosphere of the building will be Madison’s next great public place; repurposing a city-owned building makes economic sense and promotes sustainability.
  • The Public Market design will include a connection to the adjacent Burr Jones Park as well as the Yahara River. The Yahara River bike path and the park, and will offer green space for exploring outdoor events and future opportunities. 

City Support: 

  • Since 2012, the Common Council has approved over 20 formal Council resolutions authorizing next steps with the Public Market and the project has been authorized in the City budget for the last three years. 
  • This includes adoption of the business plan, launching the MarketReady Program, selecting the architecture team, establishing a partnership with the Public Market Foundation, approving architectural designs and more. 
  • Mayor Rhodes-Conway has expressed strong support for the MarketReady Program and the Public Market’s focus on supporting diverse entrepreneurs. 
  • The Public Market has been well-vetted by the community, analyzed by experts, embraced by diverse entrepreneurs, repeatedly approved by the Common Council, recommended in City plans, and authorized by the City’s budget.
  • The Public Market is a recommendation in the City’s adopted Capitol Gateway Corridor Plan, Emerson East/Eken Park/Yahara Neighborhood Plan, and the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan.


  • The Madison Public Market Foundation has already raised approximately $3 million in private support, TID #36 has provided $7M in funding, and the Neighborhood Investment Fund Grant provides $4M in additional funding. The recent City of Madison Common Council decision to provide $4.5 million in additional TID funds, combined with the County’s $1.5 million commitment provides the final bolus of funds that will make the Market a reality. The Foundation is on track to raise more, and is anxious to take over the operations of the facility with no financial risk to the City.

“I can’t think of any better way to truly experience the culture of a city. The Public Market will be a place that brings people together from all backgrounds to share their love for food; giving the opportunity to diverse local businesses and artisans to have a space to grow and showcase their craft. It will be an important piece to the economic growth of our city and a vibrant destination experience.” - Sujhey Beisser, Park Bank & Five Senses Palate

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