We Want Your Input

Public Comments

Posted: 06/03/2014
I really love the idea of the market being located somewhere along the Yahara River. I think it'd be a great to bring public commercial activity to the waterfront there. I think it's an awesome, but underused, asset for the city. And if the market were located with access to East Washington, I think that would further serve the goal of making East Wash a more welcoming and exciting entrance to Madison.
Posted: 06/03/2014
I like the idea of the market being located along Park Street and near to Wingra Creek. The Thorstrand property and the properties that houses the Post Office and Labor Temple are underutilized. These properties are on a bike path, are near to two of Madison's main arterials - Park Street and Fish Hatchery Road, near the heavily trafficked Belt Line and on major bus lines. The properties would be ideal for a mixed used development with the market, residential, retail, wholesale and entertainment uses. The location would also serve as a bridge between the more affluent near west side, near east side, near south side, campus/downtown areas to the south side.

Posted: 06/03/2014
AS for location I think the Garver Feed Mill would be a great location. I live nearby so obviously I want it close to me. I think to make it a destination it needs to combine many different things. It should have food vendors and stalls, selling fresh food or prepared meals. Adding plenty of seating and perhaps a bar/brewpub where people could take the food they just bought and grab a beer would work well. Other craft items or local food products that can not afford there own storefront could benefit from having a space in the market. Finally it would be great if the ownership structure of the market was a cooperative. The vendors could be the member-owners having a board of directors chosen from within and voted on by the members. Thanks
Posted: 06/03/2014
I support an East Washington corridor location because of the tremendous potential for synergy: greatly increased population density (due to major residential developments) in this area = a built-in clientele/audience for a public market and a public market would add to the excitement and cultural landscape that is under development. I really like the idea (in an 06/03/14 comment) about a possible location along the Yahara river (!!!) at East Washington. I can just imagine the packed riverfront outdoor seating area! It would be an instant local favorite + a tourist destination, no question.
Posted: 06/04/2014
I had an idea the other day about ways to include the home grower in the market. I would like the market to have an area designated as the Exchange. In this, members of the exchange could drop off excess veggies, fruit or other crops in exchange for other member's excess bounty. I know I had times where I couldn't give away enough cucumbers last year, and to waste them is a shame. For members that are great at growing rare or prized items, there could be additional credits given to them. In this exchange, the key is that together we can provide each other with a variety of things that we couldn't or wouldn't know how to grow on our own. This would require one or two staff or volunteers , a board to make rules and be open two to five days a week during the growing season and depending on staffing levels. Any fruits or veggies left at the end of each day would be given to the local food pantry, or sold at the market the next day at a discount to recoup staffing costs. This would be a great way to encourage local gardeners to plant more vegetables and to increase our sense of community.

City Staff Response:
Very interesting idea!  We'll keep the concept of the "exchange" in mind as we move forward with the business plan.  Thanks!
Posted: 06/24/2014
E. Wash and First St. seems to be a perfect location. It's on a major transportation artery (with potential for future transportation options like bus rapid transit) and parallel to the Capital City bike trail, and also within walking distance to major residential areas. With the new Constellation apartment building and the just-announced Frank Productions music venue on one end of the E. Wash near east side corridor, and with Union Corners on the other, I believe this would be a true catalyst project for the east side.

In addition, the proximity to the Yahara River is very appealing, and Marling Lumber's announcement that they are selling their property means there's a chance for this area to be improved in a big way, beyond some of the incremental improvements that I think would occur if the market was placed in other areas of the city. Think Detroit's Eastern Market and Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis rolled into one great location.

City Staff Response:
Thanks for you comment!
Posted: 06/25/2014
I think Park Street or E Washington are both much better options than the north side. Much more centrally located and easier access for all areas of the city and visitors coming in to town.

City Staff Response:
Thanks for your input!
Posted: 06/25/2014
I am very excited about this idea. Having lived in Washington, D.C. near Eastern Market (DC's public market) for a number of years, I am very familiar with how a public market can be a significant asset to a city and neighborhood. The E. Wash / First Street location would be an ideal location. First, it is readily accessible by bus, bike, and car. Second, it would be in close proximity to low, middle, and high income neighborhoods. Eastern Market in DC is similarly situated. This has the benefit of providing a sense of community to people of different economic backgrounds. Further, it provides access to fresh produce to underserved populations. Third, the market would be another catalyst to the redevelopment of the East Washington corridor. In addition to providing access to fresh produce to neighborhood residents, the market would be a destination for tourists and commuters, helping to support other area businesses.

City Staff Response:
Thanks for your input!
Posted: 06/25/2014
I think the Park Street location would be the best. Close for south side people, west side people, Downtown workers, campus folk, staff and students.....that's 40,ooo people right there! The south side is very under served. I think the North side site would be terrible. Who would shop there? It is very out of the way except for people in the Bluff and people who live on the north side. Park street site is much more centrally located. Thanks you.

City Staff Response:
Thanks for your input!
Posted: 06/25/2014
Park St. location ideal.
E. Wash already benefits from farmer's market.
Park St. location would stimulate diverse growth in a part of the city that is distressed.


City Staff Response:
Thanks!
Posted: 06/25/2014
I am really excited by the idea of a Public Market in the Park Street area described. The location is close to central, and still undeveloped with room for parking and has potential to attract other development to
an area that needs it. This decision has the potential to be an excellent choice!

City Staff Response:
Thank you for the comment!
Posted: 06/25/2014
I am excited about the possiblity of a Public Market being situated along Park Street. The Thorstad location is ideal for many reasons: 1. Easy access for residents commuting by foot, bike, bus, and car with close proximity to the bike path, Beltline, Park St. & Fish Hatchery Rd. 2. Ability to grow given it is a large parcel. 3. Scenic location due to its location along Wingra Creek (a much underutilized asset in the city). 4. Ability to serve residents from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. 5. Will further serve to revitalize the Park Street corridor . . . a primary access point to Madison. Great idea!
Posted: 06/25/2014
Community members on the south and west sides of Madison already have easy access to locally produced items available in the specialty shops in Paoli or Willy Street Co-op West, for example. I favor the Northside Town Center location for the public market because not only is it easily accessible by public transportation to the rest of Madison, but also it sits on a major artery linking Waunakee and Sun Prairie to Madison, potentially huge markets. Its close proximity to the airport would encourage last-minute shopping by visitors looking for local items as gifts and souvenirs.

The Northside Town Center's stores are frequented by a diverse population including African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics who live in the neighborhood. It is near the recently built F.E.E.D. kitchens. Nearby, Community Groundworks/Troy Gardens provides an excellent model and educational facility for and about local produce tended by community members.

The vacant Kohl's store is available to be converted into the public market, and ample parking is already in place, reducing the project's implementation fees. The center draws many because of its weekly farmers' market and Mallards games as well as other Warner Park events.

Currently, Madison's Northside is an underutilized and underdeveloped area that has much to offer the city as a whole and could benefit from a public market in return.
Posted: 06/25/2014
I love the idea of Park St and Fish Hatchery Rd as a potential location for a city market. My family has enjoyed residing in this neighborhood for the past 15 years. It offers easy access to and from a variety of neighborhoods (on bike, foot, boat and mass transit), not to mention a number of parks. Also, I'm also constantly surprised at the international vendors continuing to crop us along Park St. This area would be a great venue for a future market. I hope you will consider it closely.
Posted: 06/26/2014
I wonder when you said there are few grocery stores on South Park Street, if you have counted the ethnic grocers: Yue Wah, Asian Food Market, Oriental Shop, Oriental Food Mart, Mercado Marimar and Frabonis? Seems like a lot of stores that could be hurt by another grocery store in the area. How about the East Side where our Sentry store just closed leaving with none in the area.
Posted: 06/26/2014
I'm going to copy and paste everything someone else said because I wholeheartedly agree!

"Community members on the south and west sides of Madison already have easy access to locally produced items available in the specialty shops in Paoli or Willy Street Co-op West, for example. I favor the Northside Town Center location for the public market because not only is it easily accessible by public transportation to the rest of Madison, but also it sits on a major artery linking Waunakee and Sun Prairie to Madison, potentially huge markets. Its close proximity to the airport would encourage last-minute shopping by visitors looking for local items as gifts and souvenirs.

The Northside Town Center's stores are frequented by a diverse population including African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics who live in the neighborhood. It is near the recently built F.E.E.D. kitchens. Nearby, Community Groundworks/Troy Gardens provides an excellent model and educational facility for and about local produce tended by community members.

The vacant Kohl's store is available to be converted into the public market, and ample parking is already in place, reducing the project's implementation fees. The center draws many because of its weekly farmers' market and Mallards games as well as other Warner Park events.

Currently, Madison's Northside is an underutilized and underdeveloped area that has much to offer the city as a whole and could benefit from a public market in return."

To add my own opinion - the E. Wash location is also decent, but I think already with the farmer's market/Willy St Coop/Jenifer St Market, the east side is covered. It's time to invest in other areas of the city!
Posted: 06/26/2014
Park Street is a great location.13 minutes to East Town, and 11 minutes to West Town ,5 minutes to Down Town and campus. The best priced central location you're going to find.We should move on it before someone else does.
Posted: 06/26/2014
E Wash and First Street for the public market, please! Oh my goodness, this sounds like such an amazing project, and I would be so honored to have it within walking and biking distance from me and from downtown.
Posted: 06/26/2014
The Eash Washington and First St site seems like the perfect location for a public market. I believe that this site is perfectly located to make the market accessible via many modes of transportation. It is located on major bus lines, and it's proximity to the bike path is a clear advantage over the other proposed sites. It also seems that this is the most central location proposed, and would be more likely to draw customers/users from a wider area than other sites. This could be the centerpiece to the much needed redevelopment of the Yahara corridor.
Posted: 06/26/2014
East Washington!!!! Having a market anywhere will be an awesome addition to our community but East Washington would draw the most people. I say that not only as someone known to host very fantastic get togethers drawing lovely people from other places to the neighborhood (now there would be added incentive), but also because other East Siders all do the same. And really, this will keep Madison greener overall as loads of people on the East Side don't have cars. Please don't make us bike anywhere, please!!
Posted: 06/26/2014
I say South Park St. This area is very underserved when it comes to fresh food. And has the most diverse population in the state.. the east wash location would overlap with the coop.. Also this location is already standing and the thorstad building is available I believe.. it'd be nice for once to see an existing structure utilized instead of the traditional madison route of brick and mortar..
Posted: 07/07/2014
Yesterday I visited the public market in Milwaukee. It was my first time there. I loved the feel of the building and venders, but was disappointed how small it was. It wasn't worth the trip from Janesville. I'd love to see a huge location in Madison with restaurants (no chains). I'd LOVE to see lots of shops with specialty foods made in Wisconsin.

City Staff Response:
Thanks for your comment!
Posted: 08/26/2014
The Local Food Committee, City Council and planning staff have a real opportunity to do something different and take action on the racial inequities described in the Race to Equity report last year, rather than just doing something in the same model of every other major development in the city: Take a risk, create something that may not succeed as quickly as you'd like and place this market somewhere that upper middle class white people will NOT be the primary beneficiaries.

This whole process has been backwards - how can you determine the potential success of a site for the market if you don't even know what vendors will be at the market, what functions it will serve. Rather than siting the market where there are the greatest number of affluent people with terrific transportation options, put it somewhere challenged so that it will be a real economic driver, rather than just feeding off existing economic strengths?

If this market is place on East Washington, it will be clear to people of color and lower-economic class that Madison really isn't going to act on the true issues facing our city.
Posted: 08/26/2014
I agree with the voices that have spoken up for the market to be located on the South side of Madison, along Park Street. I think this is an area of the city that needs revitalization, is easily accessible to many via the beltline and could greatly benefit the people living there as well as the entire metropolitan area. I also agree with a previous poster that this would serve both the more affluent west side, and the gentrifying east side while not favoring either of them, and hopefully begin to better link the south of Madison with those living downtown and in other areas of the city by providing a reason to draw people to the Park Street corridor.
Posted: 08/26/2014
I wholeheartedly support the E. Washington/First St location for Madison's Public Market. Many thanks to those who put countless hours into making this decision. I think the proximity to the Yahara River offers exciting additional opportunities that neither of the other top contenders could. This is going to be a wonderful addition to Madison's cityscape!
Posted: 08/26/2014
First, I would like to say "Well done" on the entire process thus far for selecting the site of the public market. The process has worked flawlessly and I think the best site was chosen. I understand that some residents will be disappointed that the other sites were not selected, however, the E Washington and First Street site is clearly the location that will provide the best chance for success and future growth of the market. While providing a boost to a blighted area is a plus, the most critical consideration should be which site will allow the market to thrive, and the E Wash site is, by that standard, far superior to the others. With the ongoing development of the E Washington corridor, and the proximity to restaurants and housing, the market will be a huge success. Now let's get started!
Posted: 08/26/2014
Count me among those who would like to see this residents of this city carefully (re)consider the option of a south side market.

I am wondering, did the site committee take into account EQUITY considerations in the site selection process? One of my questions along the way, and I am thinking of the "Race to Equity" report here, is "What can we do to make life in Madison better for as many of our residents as possible, especially for those in neighborhoods that are struggling economically?"
Posted: 08/26/2014
East Washington and First Street seems like the ideal location. Which location will serve the greatest number of people and be profitable for the vendors? Public markets in other cities are not just a place to stop on the way home from work, they are recreational and tourist destinations. The central corridor and proximity to the airport make this option more desirable and accessible in my opinion. Concerns raised about the city's lack of investment on the South and North sides are valid, but I don't think the "build it and they will come" mentality is realistic.
Posted: 08/26/2014
For years, my husband and I have been saying that the intersection of E Wash and First St would be an amazing location for (well, at the time we were hoping for high speed rail station) a community gathering space. I LOVE the idea of a Public Market in this location. While I have a soft spot in my heart for the North and South sides of Madison, I just think the location of the E Wash/First St makes the most sense as a destination stop. I also love the idea of a plant/produce Exchange - how very creative! I really appreciate all the thought that has gone into this process. In the end, no matter where the Market is located, Madison will be most fortunate to be the home of a great Public Market.
Posted: 08/26/2014
You hit the mark when you chose the East Washington site. I have been a vendor at farmers markets for 20 years and know first hand, the pain of site selection. if you get it wrong, instead of food going in mouths, it goes into compost, and already poor farm families lose their land. It is too bad that the location decision is being politicized by well meaning people. To be successful, this market must be located in the heart of a strong customer base. And you know the near east side stands a good chance of success because you see it in the wildly successful Willy Street Coop - which will benefit greatly from having a reliable supply chain. I think if we want to look at equity issues, then lets pump some investment dollars into urban farms all around Madison. Model them after Will Allen's Growing Power in Milwaukee (google that for the address.) Note, the west side community market tried to open a year round market at east towne mall and it failed the first year. These things are very fragile and they will not succeed without the customer base.
Posted: 08/26/2014
The First Street/E Washington Avenue location is a great pick for this market. I am very excited on the prospect of this project being finished in this location. Again with the big park next door that backs up to the Yahara River - and the easy access from multiple routes and we're also right on the bike paths at this location. I can hardly wait for this - I hope the process moves forward maybe even quicker than Madison usually does stuff like this. There's always debate after the fact - let's get this one done and then maybe there will be more opportunities for other locations in the city. Once this is done it will be awesome.
Posted: 08/26/2014
I would like to register my support for the Southside location for the Madison Public Market. I am a RN at a clinic on S park St and teach Childbirth/Breastfeeding classes to the population in the South side area. In my experience through 8 years of working in the South Side of Madison, it is abundantly clear that this area needs an infusion of capital investment and access to good quality food. And while the projected revenues are less than the E Washington Site the potential exists for great growth for this area of Madison with the public market. How wonderful would it be for this market to partner with the community at large and address food security issues! Show the south side of Madison that you believe in this community enough to invest in this community. Thank you!
Posted: 08/26/2014
How would this "Market" impact the ongoing plans for the Yahara Riverway Greenspace project that the City has been working on for the past years? Those of us living in the Dayton, Thornton neighborhood would really like to see green-space, reduced traffic (definitely not truck or car traffic hauling products or produce through our neighborhood0 and residential development, not largescale commerce, business or industry. I think the Park Street site is much more appropriate for this commercial development plan.
Posted: 08/26/2014
I like the Park Street location. That area needs economic development.
Posted: 08/26/2014
I love the idea of this market. And I know the potential location has come close to being finalized. I hope it's not too late to weigh in.

I live on the isthmus less than two blocks from the new "Central Park." This has become such a gentrified neighborhood in the 20 years I've lived here. If I hadn't acquired my house in an unusual way, there's no way I could afford to buy my own house!

We have "everything" here, which, undoubtedly, is why it has been deemed to be one of the nations's best. Please don't continue to make this a bastion of haves among neighborhoods of have-nots. Please select a location that is already lacking in some of these wonderful things. We have the Willy St. Coop, for Pete's sake. Place the market in one of Madison's several food deserts.

Thank you.
Posted: 08/26/2014
I live on the east side of Madison, a nice walk to the proposed East Washington public market site. But I think the market should be located on the south side. The east side is already well served by a co-op, small and large grocery stores, 3 Farmer’s Markets, locally owned restaurants and businesses, and art venues. The east side is a thriving, lively place.

Even though the projected numbers for a southside market are lower than an eastside market, projections show that it can be successful. We need to value all of our neighborhoods and put money toward revitalizing where it is needed, so that the south corridor can grow to be as vital as the east corridor is now. I look forward to visiting a market outside of my neighborhood to broaden my experience of Madison.
Posted: 08/28/2014
I am most supportive of the public market being at First & E. Washington Streets. The current "plaza" is an eye sore, not kept up well and has the potential to be a "gateway" location to Madison, with visitors that come from the Interstate or from the suburbs. The adjacent park, bike path and Yahara River have been improving and a Public Market would be a major catalyst for the area, as well as for the area between First & E. Washington and downtown. Thanks Madison for considering this site! I hope it becomes the final site and construction begins soon!!
Posted: 08/28/2014
E Wash is my choice. I think it has the most prominent location, good traffic (pedestrian, bike AND car) to ensure the long term viability and economic heath of the market, close to the Yahara river/open space/downtown. E wash corridor is a major gateway to the city, and recent master planning efforts show the potential of what a great resource it could be.

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