In the News

There was a great deal of media coverage following the announcement of Keisha Harrison’s hiring as the new Executive Director for the Madison Public Market Foundation. The Wisconsin State Journal led with the headline “For its first CEO, Madison Public Market taps former Indianapolis market director“.  Madison 365 published an article “Keisha N. Harrison to serve as Madison Public Market’s first CEO”. Television media also was part of the coverage, as WKOW TV27 showcased Keisha’s hiring in the broadcast “Madison Public Market hires CEO”. Last, Jamaal Stricklin, co-owner of Super Charge! foods and a Board member of the Madison Public Market Foundation appeared on the Stuff Yer Face WORT broadcast. He updated listeners on when to expect the market to open in the former Fleet Service Building at First Street and East Johnson. The broadcast included a discussion of the Market’s success in hiring Harrison as Executive Director.

There was a slew of new media coverage following the November 27, 2023 groundbreaking event. Many of the speakers, including Mayor Rhodes-Conway, Angela Russell of TruStage and Acting Secretary Blumenfeld spoke of the economic benefit the Public Market will have for the community, generating wealth and financial well-being for individuals who are starting new businesses or expanding old ones. WMTV Channel 15 produced a report titled “Madison Public Market groundbreaking marks next step for the project”. Channel 3000’s video story is titled “City officials break ground on long-awaited Madison Public Market”. Channel 27 (WKOW) produced a video story titled. “Madison Public Market breaks ground after several funding hurdles”. WORT radio created a news feature for listeners titled “Madison Public Market breaks ground”. In Business magazine also provided an on-line summary of the event and a description of the Market’s vision in the article “Long-awaited Madison Public Market breaks ground”. Last, the City of Madison provided a press release following the event titled “Madison Public Market Groundbreaking: A Place Where Dreams Come True”. This references Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s speech to the assembled, where she said “This is going to be a place where dreams come true and where wealth is generated. And that to me is really the point… It’s about wealth building and really it’s about small businesses and their success in our community. It’s part of a larger ecosystem that we have built and are trying to build to support small businesses and small, food-based businesses.” View the entire groundbreaking presentation at your leisure.

An article in the November 3 edition of Isthmus titled “Wanted: a director for Madison’s public Market” notes that a national search is now underway. The article states that the Madison Public Market Foundation is gearing up to take over operation of the market. The first step for the private nonprofit organization is to hire an executive director, the organization’s first staff member, which they’re looking to do early next year. An outside firm will conduct a nationwide search for the director, looking for someone with previous public market experience.

Media coverage regarding the Madison Public Market continues following the approval of additional funding. The November 6 edition of the Badger Herald notes that The Madison City Council and the Dane County Board voted Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 to add a combined total of $2.64 million to the Madison Public Market’s budget. The article “Madison Public Market receives $2.64 in additional funding” notes that there will at least thirty permanent vendors who have spaces in the building, while others may rent spaces at irregular intervals. The market is also expected to have entertaining events and opportunities to experience local music and art.

A mix of media coverage occurred after the October 19 meeting of the Dane County Board, and their decision to provide an additional $1M towards the funding of the Madison Public Market. Media coverage includes Channel 27’s evening news report on the same day. The video feature is titled “Dane County Board votes to increase funding for Madison Public Market by $1 million”. On a top of the page feature article, the Wisconsin State Journal published on October 20 the feature article “With $1M, Dane County Board brings Public Market over the finish line”. In Business Magazine also covered these latest events in their October 20 article “Dane County Board green lights Madison Public Market with additional $1M in financing”. Isthmus has long covered the ups and downs of the Market’s progress. Their article “Budget boost will allow Madison Public Market to break ground this year”, published on October 18, notes that the amendment to the city’s capital budget allows the market to move forward ahead of an Oct. 24 deadline to act on construction bids. Some features of the market will have to be scuttled though, including some new windows and garage doors.

More coverage regarding the Madison Common Council’s vote to provide the final amount of funding needed to respond to the lowest construction bid. Read the Cap Times take on this important development in the October 18 edition. Madison Public Market gets another life preserver from the City has the details.

The October 18 online edition of Isthmus covers the Market’s funding crunch with the article Budget boost will allow Madison Public Market to break ground this year. The article notes that after debate, the Common Council voted 15-3 to approve a compromise proposal from Alds. Marsha Rummel and Amani Latimer Burris authorizing $1.64 million in new borrowing. The amendment to the city’s capital budget allows the market to move forward ahead of an Oct. 24 deadline to act on construction bids.

Great news! At the October 17 meeting of the Madison Common Council, alders approved a $1.6M package to provide the final funding towards the Market’s construction. The amount fills the gap that existed between available funds and the lowest bid for construction. The Wisconsin State Journal article Madison City Council approves late save of Public Market has the details.

Spectrum News One Madison ran a story showcasing the proposed Madison Public Market on October 16. The story City of Madison to hold crucial vote on future of Public Market features Luis Aguilar, co-owner of a popular food truck called Caracas Empanadas y Mas. The business is one of five already selected to be in the Market.

As reported in the Wisconsin State Journal article of October 10, the City of Madison’s Finance Committee voted to forward a resolution calling for a $2.3M funding package. “Fate of Madison Public Market now goes to City Council after cost-cutting plan fails” details the decision to provide funding that will allow for replacement of aging garage doors and windows. The Common Council votes on this resolution on October 17.

Dean Mosiman of the Wisconsin State Journal authored the article “Cheaper alternative plan proposed to keep Madison Public Market on track”. Published on October 7, the article describes the efforts of two alders who offered a substitute resolution to deliver an additional $2.64 million to close a funding gap on what would be a $23.6 million market.The substitute plan would authorize an additional $1.64 million in city borrowing for the market in 2023 beyond current city commitments and also anticipates another $1 million from Dane County. The city budget amendment requires a 15-vote council supermajority.

Lots of news as we approach the October 17 meeting of the Madison Common Council, where alders will consider two amendments to provide the last of funding to make the market a reality. Channel 27 WKOW leads the October 5 broadcast with a story titled “Now we actually have a bid”: City officials say Madison Public Market should have secured all funding needed to start building”. It notes that the Public Market Development Committee, a City advisory group that includes alders, unanimously endorsed an amendment by Alders Rummel and Latimer Burris to provide $1.6M in funding. Channel 27 also covered the Dane County’s Personnel and Finance Committee’s efforts to forward a resolution offering an additional $1M towards market construction. You can watch  the YouTube video titled “County board votes on public market funding.” The monies from the County are a key component of the City of Madison amendments.

In Business Magazine published a lengthy article on October 1 describing both the current status of the Madison Public Market initiative as well as a comprehensive look back at its’ history. It notes that the project is making tangible headway and projecting local benefits. Read the full article at Madison Public Market times for 2025 opening. According to the article, the public market was envisioned as equity-based economic development, and it aims to lower barriers to entry and create a supportive environment for diverse entrepreneurs to launch a new business. Now more than ever, achieving those goals is a critical part of economic development, and as major project milestones are met, the project vision is finally being realized.

Dean Mosiman of the Wisconsin State Journal wrote an informative article published on September 28 that describes efforts to fully fund the Market following the higher than anticipated construction bids. Madison Council members propose $3.3M for Public Market traces the history of the Market project and provides insight into the current predicament.

The Cap Times has reported on September 28 that City Council member Sabrina Madison has introduced a budget amendment to pay the extra money needed to build the long-awaited Madison Public Market, but her proposal depends on more help from Dane County.

According to the article Madison Public Market funding proposal increases by $3.3 million the lowest bid from a contractor to reconstruct the building was $15.2 million, which is $2.7 million more than originally estimated and about $1.64 million more than the city can spend without additional funding approval. Madison officials cited inflated construction and labor costs as a reason the bids came in higher than expected.

Madison, the alder for District 17, partnered on her funding proposal with Ald. Regina Vidaver of District 5, and their plan would commit nearly $2.3 million in additional city money toward the project to help meet the total estimated costs including construction and furnishings.

An additional $1 million would come from Dane County if approved by the County Board.

If the City Council chooses to move forward with the project, approximately $1.64 million would be enough to fund the original budget for reconstruction. However, to buy furnishings, fixtures and equipment would add another $1.64 million to the project for a total of $3,279,755 beyond the current project budget.

The Cap Times published an article on September 19 that describes the next important step in closing the funding gap caused by the lowest bid’s proposal, which is significantly greater than the City’s budgeted construction amount. The article Madison Public Market: Alder looks to close latest funding gap, describes alder Sabrina Madison’s efforts to offer a capital budget amendment to the Common Council. Madison says she will introduce a resolution in October to fill the budget gap because of the benefits it will bring to the city and vendors.

Channel 3000 ran a story on September 19 titled Despite budget challenges, vendor still has hope for Madison Public Market. The feature story highlights the hopes and dreams of Josey Chu, founder of Madame Chu’s sauces. Josey participated in the recent Ready! Set! Market! preview event and has long been hoping to be a part of the Market.

The current Madison Public Market funding issue, where the lowest construction bid received by the City of Madison leaves a funding shortfall of approximately $1.7M, received a great deal of media coverage. WKOW Channel 27 published the feature story Bids for Madison Public Market come in over budget. Channel 3000 ran the story Madison Public Market in jeopardy after construction bids exceed budget. WMTV NBC 15’s broadcast showed the feature story Madison Public Market construction bids are much higher than planned, City says. These stories ran on September 19.

The September 19 edition of the Wisconsin State Journal featured the article High construction bids threaten Madison Public Market. With rising costs of materials following the COVID pandemic, this was not unexpected. The City of Madison, along with the Madison Public Market Foundation are committed to moving forward on this important project. According to the article, the City plans to request an additional $1.64M from the Common Council to amend the 2023 Capital Budget, thereby covering the needed amount from the Common Council. This process could be completed at the October 17 Common Council meeting, just prior to the October 24 bid expiration date. This is a great time to write to the council members at [email protected] to express your support for the funding.

The Madison Public Market has been a dream for decades. Three mayors have tried. With a proposed opening in 2025, it’s now the closest it’s ever been to becoming reality. Such is the introduction to the Madison Minutes City Cast Madison podcast posted September 20. What’s happening with the Madison Public Market was recorded on September 15, and features a lengthy interview with Madison Public Market Foundation president Karen Crossley. Karen discusses the vision of the Market, its’ mission to help women, persons of color and first-generation immigrants achieve their small business dreams. The interview also provides an overview of how both the Public Market space and the TruStage MarketReady space will be utilized to become a public good, enjoyed by the community.

The future Madison Public Market received a plethora of media coverage before and after the September 12, 2023 Ready! Set! Market! Open House preview event. The festivities were held at the former Fleet Services Building at 200 N. First Street, the 2025 home of the Market. The event featured 20+ food, arts and crafts vendors and musical guests. Here’s a rundown of media stories regarding the Market as well as the event. The September 9 Wisconsin State Journal’s article Madison can get a look inside the Madison Public Market Tuesday summarizes the features inside the future Market and showcases in photos the potential grandeur of the building. Channel 3000 did a series of pre-event promotional pieces featuring Hannah Mohelnitzky, Public Information Officer with the City of Madison’s Department of Engineering, and event vendors Josey Chu and Carmel Jackson. Watch the videos here. WMTV Channel 15 also did a preview interview with Hannah in advance of the event. Watch Public invited to check out progress of Madison Public Market. 608 Today did a comprehensive overview of the Market’s physical features in the article We got a sneak peak at the Madison Public Market. The Cap Times continues its coverage of the Market with an article written after the Ready! Set! Market! Open House. Madison Public Market rides a ‘roller coaster’ to opening summarizes the impact the Market will have on its vendors, especially women and persons of color. Channel 27’s newscast of September 12 ran a feature story with footage of the Ready! Set! Market! event, showcasing some of the vendors and what the Market will mean to them once it opens. Watch Hopeful vendors excited as Madison’s long-proposed public market gets closer to becoming a reality. WISC TV’s evening newscast ran a story titled Community gets inside look at future Madison Public Market. The story summarizes the history of the effort to build the Market, and highlights the project’s mission to support small businesses, especially women and people of color.

The Cap Times edition of August 3 highlights the potential of the former Fleet Services Building as the future site of the Madison Public Market. In the article Sneak peak inside the future Madison Public Market, the building’s airy feel, large open spaces and functional garage doors are highlighted as key features that lend themselves to creating a dynamic, warm and welcoming space. The building will be renovated beginning this fall. Its adaptive reuse will result in significant cost savings and reduce the amount of building materials that might have ended up in the landfill. When completed, the Market will be a year-round, indoor marketplace featuring locally grown foods; handcrafted artwork, jewelry, wearables and collectibles; along with a center for food entrepreneurship that would help jumpstart 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.

More good news for the Madison Public Market project! The Common Council approved the lease and operating agreements at the 7/25 meeting. And just last week, the construction bid to renovate the former Fleet Services Building was posted! We are finally seeing the last few pieces fall into place. This article in the July 26 edition of the Wisconsin State Journal, titled It’s happening:  Delayed Public Market wins key vote by Madison City Council,  sums up the progress made.

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 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 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 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

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

“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

See What People are Saying