Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County to Aid Development of Fresh Food Market on Madison’s South Side

October 04, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

Grant will Fund Feasibility Study, Business Plan to Expand Economic Development, Fresh Food Access to Southside Neighborhood


The county will take its first steps in aiding the development of a new fresh food enterprise that could provide economic development opportunities and increased access to fresh market produce on Madison’s south side, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


“Dane County is a nationally recognized for our local foods economy, but not everyone has the access to fresh, healthy produce that they deserve,” said Parisi.  “This feasibility study will chart a course to developing a fresh market enterprise on Madison’s south side that will provide this important bridge for families, and some much needed economic development.”


Dane County will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for firms interested in developing a feasibility study and business plan for a small neighborhood-scale market.  The new facility will help food producers in the region expand their sales and help families in the Southdale Neighborhood have easy access to fresh produce.  Southdale has been identified as a ‘food desert’ – an area lacking a full service grocery store.


The study will include outreach to the community and development of a concept and design for the grocery store at a site within the Novation Campus, a brownfield redevelopment adjacent to the Southdale Neighborhood.  The process will also identify a suitable owner/operator for the facility to complete the fresh market and help create new jobs in the neighborhood.


“Southdale is one of Madison’s many vibrant neighborhoods,” said Dane County Supervisor Shelia Stubbs.  “The development of a fresh market oppourtunity would provide much needed resources for our families, and would be a welcome addition that would brighten economic development in the area.”


Stubbs is introducing a resolution at tonight’s Dane County Board meeting that will enable the county to take the next steps in this exciting project.


The Southdale neighborhood is an area of focus in the 2001 Town of Madison Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) plan and the Southdale Neighborhood Plan.  One of the key goals identified in the neighborhood plan was the development of a small food enterprise or food market. 


The feasibility study is made possible through $75,000 in grant money awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


# # #


If approved, the South Madison Fresh Market would be one of a number of sustainable development projects promoted by Capital Region Sustainable Communities (CRSC), a partnership of government, educational institutions, businesses and non-profits. CRSC provided the grant funding for the feasibility study and business plan through a federal Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. Other CRSC projects include sustainability demonstration projects in Madison and Fitchburg, regional corridor and transit planning, and Future Urban Development Area planning throughout the county.