In the News
A May 4, 2023 article in the Cap Times titled “Madison Public Market to break ground this fall, open in 2025” describes the up and down fifteen years of the Market’s history. Noting that Madison’s very own public market has now moved from an uncertain concept to a groundbreaking planned for this fall and an opening in spring 2025. And when completed, it will be a year-round, indoor marketplace featuring locally grown foods; handcrafted artwork, jewelry, wearables and collectibles; along with a food innovation center that would help entrepreneurs start businesses. The market also will have a food production facility to help those businesses grow, as well as an event space, outdoor patios and plazas. The plan calls for 30 permanent vendors, as well as pop-up stores and restaurants. In addition to those vendors with year-round leases, other vendors will be on hand who can utilize the Market facility as a temporary vending location with daily, weekly or monthly arrangements.
WKOW Channel 27 did a story about the Market’s funding status that included three entrepreneurs that are excited about the opportunity presented. The story Funding for the Madison Public Market Secured highlights the roller coaster journey to receive sufficient funding, and how these individuals kept the faith all along. They tout how the market will be a great tool for their businesses to spread their reach. While there are occasional pop-up markets, having a place to call home will benefit owners and shoppers. It will also inspire others to start their own businesses. Thank you, Josey, Carmel and Judy!
The lead story on the February 28, 2023 WMVTV 10:00 PM broadcast begins with a shout out to the Madison Public Market Foundation in achieving its $3 million fundraising goal, including a major gift of $1.5 million from CUNA Mutual Group.
Madison Public Market hits funding goal, set to open in 2025 is the headline for the Cap Times article on February 25, 2023. The article notes that the Madison Public Market Foundation has hit its fundraising goal of $3 million, with the critical assistance of the CUNA Mutual Group. The CUNA Mutual Group donation of $1.5 million was made towards the construction of the TruStage MarketReady Hall, a facility that will provide affordable access to specialized commercial equipment and facilities and create a public gathering space intended to support diverse, minority-owned businesses, as well as create jobs and new businesses.
This post offers a compendium of media coverage after the November 16 Common Council vote to fund the Market. Tone Madison published the article The Madison Public Market and other things we didn’t completely screw up this year. It is an interesting take on the City Council’s actions that resulted in approval of funding. The Cap Times also summarized the Council action in the article Madison.com published the article City Council approves $4.5 million more for Madison Public Market, boosts council pay. A separate Cap Times article was published as City Council adds $4.5 million to Madison Public Market. NBC 15 aired Madison Public Market project to move forward. Channel 3000 aired the feature story Madison Public Market project still alive after council approves TIF district funding as part of budget. View additional coverage on the WKOW production Madison Public Market project lives to see another day as alders OK budget amendment for more funding. This video features future Market vendors Josie Chu and Carmell Jackson, long-time supporters of the Market concept.
The Cap Times article of November 16 begins “In passing the city’s 2023 capital budget Wednesday night, the Madison City Council added $4.5 million toward the Madison Public Market after a $5.2 million budget gap left the project’s fate up in the air.” The article City Council adds $4.5 million to Madison Public Market summarizes the reason for the sudden $5.45 million funding gap and describes the solution to this problem as created and affirmed by a 17-3 vote by the Madison Common Council. Funds for the market will come out of Tax Incremental District 36 on the east side, and the home of the proposed site for the market on the corner of North First and East Johnson streets in the city’s Fleet Services building. Combined with Dane County’s commitment of $1.5 million, the new financing gets the project out of the red. Now, and finally, plans for remodeling of the former Fleet Building can commence. Read the full story.
Great News! The City’s Common Council alders voted 17 – 3 to request $4.5 million from the TID #36! The Madison.com article City Council approves $4.5 million more for Madison Public Market dated November 16 tells the tale. Initially, Ald. Syed Abbas and two others proposed using up to $6 million from a robust TIF district on the East Washington Avenue corridor to close the gap, but the council on Wednesday supported an option to deliver $4.5 million in TIF given the county’s contribution and the potential for other savings. This vote is an extremely important vote of confidence for the Market’s construction, and allows us to actively plan for construction. Read the full story.
WORT Radio prepared a comprehensive overview of the Public Market’s funding status and the pending Common Council vote on capital budget amendments that will close the gap. Interviews with alders Vidaver, who co-sponsored the amendment, and Furman, who chairs the Finance Committee are included in the story Alders Propose Amendment To Help Madison Public Market. Common Council members will likely vote on the funding amendment to use TID #36 dollars on Wednesday, November 16. Read or listen to the full story.
Coverage of the Madison Common Council’s pending vote to provide additional TID funds to the Market occurred in the Wisconsin State Journal. In the edition for November 16, the article City Council to consider more funds for Madison Public Market, the author summarizes the strong support provided by the public during the Council meeting on the preceding evening. The Council will likely vote on the funding amendment on Wednesday, November 16. Read the full story.
The Wisconsin State Journal, in an article appearing on November 12, describes the specifics of the Tax Incremental Financing plan proposed to save the Madison Public Market. This is explained in great detail in City could cover Public Market Financing Gap with TIF revenue. The amendment to the 2023 City of Madison Capital Budget, proposed by Alds. Syed Abbas, Regina Vidaver and Nasra Wehelie will deliver up to $6 million more in city support from the TIF district in the East Washington Avenue corridor for the public market, which has a $5.2 million financing gap.TID 36 is projected to have a cash balance of about $21 million at the end of this year, more than enough to cover the needs of the Market and others across the City. Read the full story.
The November 12 edition of the Wisconsin State Journal has a top of fold story regarding the potential fate of the Madison Public Market. The article notes that the city would close a $5.2 million funding gap, paving the way for the stalled plan to continue, under an amendment to Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s 2023 budget plan City Council members will take up next week. In City Council to consider more funds for Madison Public Market the author describes the 2023 Capital Budget amendment put forward by three alders. Read the full story.
The amendment offers up to $6 million in TIF district money to get the plan moving after increased construction costs threatened to derail it.
In a November 9 editorial, the Cap Times leeds with the headline The City Council can and should make the Madison Public Market a reality. Noting that Madison is a great city capable of doing great things, the writers note that the Market is one of those exceptional ideas, and that the opportunity should not be squandered for lack of immediate funding. They call upon the City Council to pursue the First and East Johnson location. Importantly, they ask the Council to support the upcoming Capital Budget amendment to seek $6 million in TIF funding. The Council considers that vote beginning November 14. Read the full story.
In Business Magazine ran an article titled A Hail Mary Play in reference to the fate of the Madison Public Market. The November 2022 article mentions that more than 100 businesses, many minority owned, could generate nearly $20 million in local economic impact each year. The article questions why the City of Madison isn’t doing enough to ensure the Market’s construction. It also describes the pending City Council amendment to secure TIF #36 funding to close the gap. Read the full story.
The Cap Times, in a November 4, 2022 article, describes the efforts of Alders Syed Abbas and Regina Vidaver to propose a $6 million budget amendment to the fund the endangered Madison Public Market. The article New city amendment proposes $6 million for Madison Public Market reports that the amendment adds the funds via the tax incremental financing (TIF) district #36.The amendment would bring the city’s total 2023 budget commitment to the project up to $13.8 million, and closing the project’s perilous budget gap. Read the full story.
A dream deferred? An article in Isthmus from November 2 notes that construction was set to begin this month on the more-than-decade-old proposal to build a Madison public market. But an unexpected development this summer has left the project fighting for its life. The article describes how an estimated $1.6 million increase in the project’s estimated construction costs jeopardized and ultimate caused the City of Madison to withdraw from and anticipated $3.45 million Federal EDA grant.These inflationary costs, later assessed at close to $1.8 million, owe to project delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the use of the Fleet Services Building as a temporary shelter for homeless men, who were just recently moved to a new location. The city’s decision to promptly “throw in the towel” on the EDA grant has raised questions. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, in response to the reporter’s questions, wrote that she believes the market “still has the potential to be an asset to Madison in the long term.” But given the “substantial financial gap” the project now faces, she “did not feel comfortable” dedicating millions of additional dollars to the project without input from the Madison Common Council. The Council will have the opportunity to vote in favor or against a capital budget amendment in mid-November. Read the full story.
A new joint budget proposal between Madison and Dane County could save the Madison Public Market, closing the perilous $5.2 million funding gap for the project. The new efforts by the County to help fund the Public Market are described in a November 2 article in the Cap Times. The article, County Proposal could help close public market funding gap, tells that County Board Chair Patrick Miles proposed a budget amendment last week in budget deliberations, suggesting $1.5 million from the county’s capital budget be allocated to assist in filling the funding gap for the Madison Public Market. The amendment unanimously passed in the county’s finance committee Tuesday night. We are anxiously awaiting a full and favorable vote by the entire County Board on November 7. Read the full story.
The Wisconsin State Journal article of October 26 provides an update of current efforts to fill the funding gap that is currently preventing progress on the Public Market. The article Madison, Dane County proposals would close $5.2 million funding gap for Public Market highlights efforts by the County of Dane to support the efforts with a $1.5M contribution towards the food innovation center portion of the project. A motion to provided the funding will be considered by the County Board in early November. Read the full story.
Tone Madison’s October 17, 2022 editorial by Scott Gordon states in its’ headline that Abandoning the Madison Public Market is for Cowards Gordon notes that now, as the city buckles down to finalize its 2023 budget, a $5.2 million funding shortfall threatens the entire Madison Public Market project. A federal grant fell through, construction costs are up significantly, and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s proposed 2023 capital budget does not put up funding to close the gap. He makes the poignant point that not building the Market isn’t just about losing a cool place to hang out and eat. It’s about honoring our commitments, following through, showing a bit of political spine, and getting some things done instead of just studying them into oblivion. It’s showing that we’re a city that can actually have nice things. Read the full story.
A September 29 editorial in the Northside News by Chris Brockel tells it like it is. Brockel notes that the Market was dealt a severe financial blow when the City of Madison found they were facing an estimate $1.7M in additional construction costs caused by the delays in the project’s construction. He notes that many were left unaware of this shortfall, something that should have been addressed sooner, and thus, preventing the loss of a potential $3.45M grant from the Federal Government. Market Ready enterprises, FEED Kitchens’ entrepreneurs and farmers market vendors were preparing final plans to use this stepping stone to move to a full restaurant or year-round store, or making products on a larger scale. That was the plan anyway. Read the full story.
On 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. Read the full story.
Channel 27 broadcast a story on September 2 that begins “Just two months before breaking ground on Madison’s highly-anticipated public market project — the people behind the scenes struggle to come up with the funding to make it happen.” The story notes that city leaders announced that the project was more than $5 million short of its necessary funding. City leaders say due to an increase of $1.8 million in construction costs, the city was forced to withdraw its application for $3.4 million of federal funding because it lacked the newly-estimated total. Read the full story.
Surging construction costs place Madison Public market budget $5.2 million short is the leed in a Channel 3000 publication dated September 1, 2022. The article and broadcast feature notes that a one-two punch of rising construction costs and vanishing grant money means the long-anticipated Madison Public Market will likely be delayed again. The biggest hit comes from losing an expected $3 million federal Economic Development Administration grant related to those rising costs. Read or view the story.
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 Madison.com: 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
July 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
January 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