Madison Public Market project to move forward

The City of Madison 2023 budget is set to include funding for a public market
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 7:08 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison Common Council approved the 2023 budget including $4.5 million in additional funding for the Madison Public Market project to move forward.

Despite the budget passing, some alders felt the $4.5 million should be used to support affordable housing rather than the public market project.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is glad the budget passed.

”I really don’t see it as an either or between the market and housing,” Mayor Rhodes-Conway said. “We are going to continue to invest in affordable housing. My administration has already doubled the amount of money that goes toward housing.”

District 3 Alder Erik Paulson voted against including the Madison Public Market in the 2023 budget, but said he wasn’t disappointed in being outnumbered.

“What if the event space doesn’t make it? What if this turns out not to be the place where people want to go and there are other competing ones,” Paulson said. ”There are a lot of things that could go wrong.”

Paulson said public market vendors may not make enough money to keep theirs businesses going and could cost the city more money than anticipated.

City of Madison Economic Development Director Matt Mikolajewski is in one of the city employees in charge of the project and said overall it will cost $20 million with funding from multiple sources. He said he’s thankful for the city council’s vote and plans to find out how much the construction will cost soon.

”We think that now we have all of the funding that we need to move forward,” Mikolajewski said. ”Individuals that don’t necessarily have access to resources can start a new business and so it really is a great intersection between the general goal to help entrepreneurs succeed, but also especially to help entrepreneurs of color, immigrants and other individuals that don’t necessarily have access to financial resources.”

He said they hope to start construction in the late summer or early fall of 2023 and that doors should open by late summer of fall of 2024.

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