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Madison to open $13 million public market in 2021

A  rendering of the Madison Public Market that local officials are planning to open in the city's Fleet Services Building on the city's east side.

A rendering of the Madison Public Market that local officials are planning to open in the city’s Fleet Services Building on the city’s east side.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Madison officials are planning to turn a 66-year-old industrial building into a year-round destination for fresh produce, diverse and locally prepared food, and handmade arts and crafts.

Advocates of the project say they have been trying to build a public market in their city for at least 14 years.

The $13.2 million Madison Public Market could have as many as 45 permanent retailers, as well as various pop-up and provisional vendors, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. When built, the market will be run out of the city’s Fleet Services building on the East Side.

The city’s MarketReady program is already backing 30 entrepreneurs chosen from 83 applicants as they look to start or expand businesses at the market. Thirty-three percent of them are first-generation immigrants, 63% are women and 83% are people of color.

The structure, on 3.4 acres of city-owned land, will have 45,000 square feet of space. The building has three huge service bays, all with high ceilings, plenty of windows and tall service doors.

A second-floor mezzanine overlooks two large bays at the Fleet Services building. The 5,600-square-foot mezzanine could be used for neighborhood gatherings and dining.

Groundbreaking for the market is scheduled for fall 2020, and the market will open about a year later. The project is being designed by an architecture and engineering team led by the Minneapolis-based firm Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle.

The nonprofit Madison Public Market Foundation will oversee and run the market. The foundation has already raised $4 million, which includes $2.5 million for the building plan and $1.5 million for future market operations. To help pay for it all, the foundation is receiving $3 million worth of federal new-market tax credits.

The city has included $7.5 million for the market in its capital financial plan and will retain possession of the building. State and federal subsidies and tax incremental financing, commonly known as TIF, could also be used for the project.

Fleet Services, which is responsible for maintaining city vehicles, will move to a new site at Nakoosa Trail in 2020.

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