Oscar Mayer

Special Area Plan

The plan is the second phase of the City's effort to reuse and redevelop Oscar Mayer and surrounding sites that may change in the future.  It will build off the vision and redevelopment objectives created in the Strategic Assessment (phase 1), which focus on economic development, equity, leveraging transit, sustainability and redevelopment character. 

The special area plan will establish detailed, site-specific guidance for future development addressing land use, building scale and design, new streets and paths, and public open spaces.

The Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan kicked off on June 19, with a Walk and Talk event at Oscar Mayer.
Walk and Talk Kickoff event
The special area plan is expected to take approximately six to eight months to complete, with public engagement and input opportunities throughout the process.  The general timeline below may change as the planning process proceeds and any public meeting will be announced via our email list.  Sign up (right column) to stay informed!
Process timeline


The special area plan will build off the Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment, a "big picture" look at the study area to understand its role within the region and the ways in which redevelopment could most effectively contribute to the well-being of the community. The Mayor and Common Council appointed a 13-member committee which met 10 times to guide the development of the report and public engagement activities. The Strategic Assessment defines a vision, 10 redevelopment objectives and 15 specific recommendations, and was approved by the City of Madison Common Council on February 5, 2019.  More information on the Strategic Assessment can be found here.

Plan Area


Oscar Mayer was located on Madison's north side for 97 years as a food production and headquarters facility.  The Oscar Mayer site is generally bounded by Commercial Avenue on the south, Packers Avenue on the east, Aberg Avenue on the north, and Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks on the west.  The Strategic Assessment will also consider additional parcels in the immediate area determined to be important in accomplishing the development objectives of the area.

At its peak, Oscar Mayer employed approximately 4,000 people at this location, and 1,000 people at the time its closing was announced in November 2015.  Oscar Mayer's owner, Kraft Heinz, vacated the 72-acre site in June 2017 and in October 2017 executed an agreement with the Reich Brothers Holdings, LLC to purchase the property.

This site occupies a key position in Madison's north side, as well as in the city and region.  During its nearly century in operation, the Oscar Mayer facility has had an immeasurable positive economic impact on the community in the many well-paying jobs it provided, as well as the businesses that were supported by the company, its employees, and their families.  Much of the north and east sides of Madison developed around Oscar Mayer and the neighborhoods in these areas were home to many of its employees.  Many of the homes that were built and stores that were opened catered to Oscar Mayer's workforce.  This contributed to a great sense of pride and social cohesion that is still present in these areas.  As such, the City is placing a strong emphasis on the future reuse of this site and emphasizing its continued future positive impact on the surrounding area, economically, socially and physically.  The City views this site as a key redevelopment opportunity and feels strongly that the predominate use continue the location's tradition as a location for well-paying, family-supporting jobs.


Last Updated: 07/30/2019


Walk and Talk Event

June 19, 2019 (rain or shine)

5:30pm-7:00pm (depart at 5:45)

Oscar Mayer Parking Lot (corner of Packers and Commercial Avenues)


Subscribe to Email List

Subscribe to the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan email list:

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Past Email List Updates

Request a presentation

Have a group that would like to know more about the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan and share their perspective?  Contact Dan McAuliffe for more information.


Dan McAuliffe
City of Madison Planning Divison