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City to show off more detailed renderings of Madison Public Market, ask for feedback

City to show off more detailed renderings of Madison Public Market, ask for feedback

Madison Public Market outside render

A rendering of the Madison Public Market, which is set to open at 200 N. First St. on the East Side in the fall of 2021.

At a public meeting Thursday, the City of Madison will ask for feedback on new renderings of the Madison Public Market, which is set to come to the East Side in 2021.

The colorful visualizations show a market that is “fresh, very local and Madison-centric,” said Hannah Mohelnitzky, spokeswoman for Madison’s Engineering Division.

“For the first time, the public is really going to be able to visualize what the space is going to look like,” Mohelnitzky said.

The long-anticipated market will be open year-round and feature 35 to 45 local businesses, plus a rotating mix of temporary vendors, that will offer fresh produce, meats, cheeses, culturally diverse food, and arts and crafts.

Advocates have been pushing for the project for at least 14 years, but have hit delays in parts because of challenges in securing a location. In December 2018, the city decided on what is currently the city’s Fleet Services building, 200 N. First St., for the location.

At Thursday’s meeting, attendees will be able to see floor plans of the wide open interior spaces, drawings of the outdoor plaza and parking areas, the layout for vendors and renderings of rooms and the outside of the building, Mohelnitzky said.

Floor 1.JPG

An updated layout for the first floor of the public market provides more detail on how the space will look and uses of different rooms. 

Mohelnitzky said the meeting will also be the last time residents will be able to voice their opinions and ask questions in a public setting before the architectural designs are finalized, but she will still welcome feedback via email.

“We’re kind of nearing the end of the public input process,” she said. “We want everyone to be able to come and share any of their last little bits of info of want they want from the public market because at the end of the day it’s for our community.”

The event will include a presentation from the architect team, a panel discussion with project leaders and an opportunity for residents to ask questions and provide comments. Mohelnitzky said the focus of the meeting is on infrastructure and the building process. The vendors have not yet been selected.

The overall design of the market has not seen any major changes from designs released in May, she said, but the city has many more details fleshed out, such as where the walls will be, lighting locations and areas that will be dedicated to artwork or splashes of color.

Mohelnitzky said the renderings previously were possibilities of what the market “could look like,” but now the design is much closer to what will actually be built.

“We know now that there will be large overhead doors, and extensive glass walls and more about the materials and the fabric of the space — more color,” she said. “It’s like, you look at a sketch and you see the drawing but then it comes to life when you add the color and more specifics.”

The two-story industrial space that will house the market has 20-foot ceilings, large bay doors and extensive rows of windows.

The main floor will include an entry hall with restaurant and/or cafe and a public space, a main hall for the hub of merchants and vendors, and an event hall for weddings, banquets, pop-up markets and community events. The event space will be able to seat 300.

Floor 2.JPG

An updated layout for the first floor of the public market provides more detail on how the space will look and uses of different rooms. 

The second floor will feature a 5,600-square-foot mezzanine between the main hall and event halls that will overlook the food vendors and various events. Underneath will be a ground floor kitchen.

The design plan is expected to be finalized this fall, Mohelnitzky said.

“People will get a more defined idea and vision of the market, but the designs are still a work in progress,” Mohelnitzky said. “Details will continue to be fleshed out over the next several months.”


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Emily Hamer is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She joined the paper in April 2019 and was formerly an investigative reporting intern at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Related to this story

The city is parting ways with a private landowner/developer and changing the location of the coming $13.2 million Madison Public Market back to the site of its Fleet Services building at the corner of North First and East Johnson streets.

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