MADISON — Dane County is moving forward with an exciting new public/private partnership with the potential to create dozens of jobs and address one of South Madison’s food deserts in the Southdale Neighborhood in Madison, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.
Urban Assets has been selected to receive a $31,700 county grant to develop a feasibility study for a small neighborhood-scale market in the area. Based on research and input from food industry experts, the project team would develop a concept design, operational model, and a financing plan.
The goal of the new partnership, the South Madison Food Enterprise (SMFE) project, is to develop a market feasibility plan for a neighborhood-based food enterprise to meet the needs of area residents, employees and employers, identify an owner/operator, and help in developing the new facility.
“This new partnership holds exciting possibilities for innovation and economic development in a neighborhood that is already growing in great ways,” said Parisi. “The expansion of access to fresh local foods, and needed job creation, proves that we can continue to achieve great things when we work together.”
The size of the fresh market facility could range from 5,000-15,000 square feet and add up to 20 full time jobs, depending on the results of feasibility and market research and work with industry stakeholders.
The food enterprise will be located on Rimrock Road in the Town of Madison, on Alexander Company’s Novation Campus. Phase I of the project will engage area residents and work with the community to survey residents and employees, conduct a market analysis and review existing small food enterprise models.
Job openings will be posted in the Southdale community for two Outreach Coordinators to help facilitate survey implementation, conduct outreach, and provide administrative support for the SMFE project.
The South Madison Food Enterprise (SMFE) project partners include Dane County, the City of Madison, Growing Power, the South Madison Farmer’s Market, and the Alexander Company.
The Southdale neighborhood has experienced a great deal of positive growth with the recently opened Badger Rock School, and an expansion of neighbors the ITT Technical Institute. The Novation Campus also continues to expand with new employers and employees moving into its campus.
The goal of Phase II is development of the site that would come with additional support in grant funding through Dane County, and development assistance from the Alexander Company.
Those who are interested in more information regarding the SMFE are encouraged to contact Melissa Huggins at email@example.com.
The Southdale fresh food enterprise project is a part of Capital Region Sustainable Communities (CRSC), a regional partnership to promote healthy, prosperous communities. Dane County is a founding member of the partnership, which also supports other local food, green business, green infrastructure, social equity and regional collaboration initiatives.