The Madison Public Market has faced multiple setbacks over the past two decades and faces another after bids from three construction companies came in above budget.
In July 2023, the city of Madison began accepting bids from construction companies to build the market, which is designed to serve as a hub for local businesses in Madison. The lowest bid, from Madison-based contractor Joe Daniels Construction, came in $1.6 million over the $13.6 million city officials are willing to spend after factoring in construction costs.
“I am interested in seeing the project through because I believe the economic and social impact it will have on the city is immeasurable,” Madison said.
Madison said she plans to introduce her resolution to fill the budget gap at the Oct. 3rd Common Council meeting.
“The impact it will have for those folks who will eventually have stores in that space is something that we need to be investing in because these are the folks who have not had investment in the past,” she said.
The Madison Public Market will be housed in the City Fleet Services building, located at the corner of East Johnson Street and First Street, and will be a “year-round public marketplace where new entrepreneurs and long-established Madison favorites will grow their businesses and find success,” according to the project’s website.
The market plans to attract over 500,000 visitors, support over 130 businesses, create 100 jobs and generate more than $16 million in local sales annually, the website said.
“Madison’s brick and mortar public market promises to be an inclusive, bustling marketplace showcasing much of what makes our community so special,” the website said. “Locally grown and prepared delicious food, refreshing beverages and handcrafted artwork, jewelry, wearables and collectibles.”
The Madison Public Market has faced funding difficulties in the past, including a $5.2 million budget gap in 2022 that threatened the future of the project. Tax incremental financing plans from the city and Dane County provided the funding necessary to keep the market afloat.
The deadline for the city to accept a bid on the project is Oct. 24. The Common Council would need to introduce a proposal to provide the needed funding at the Oct. 3 meeting to meet the deadline.
The market plans to open in spring of 2025.