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Council approves new grocery agreement for South Madison

South Madison residents could be shopping in a new, full service 24,000 square foot grocery store by the end of this year.

The City of Madison has reached an agreement with Kristie Maurer to open a store in South Madison, located in the new building currently under construction at the corner of South Park Street and Cedar Street. The City will be purchasing condo space for the grocery store from development team Rule Enterprises and nonprofit Movin’ Out and leasing it to Kristie Maurer to open her store, Maurer’s Urban Market.

Artist rendering courtesy City of Madison

The Madison Common Council approved the agreement at last night’s meeting.

City records indicate the purchase price is $4.6 million.

“This agreement is a major step forward in securing access to healthy food in South Madison for decades to come,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said. “I want to thank Maurer’s Urban Markets, Rule Enterprises, Movin’ Out Inc., and everyone involved in this project for their dedication to our community.”

The City land banked the former Truman Olson Army Reserve Center more than a decade ago, and in May of 2021, the City and Milwaukee-based Rule Enterprises and Madison-based nonprofit housing developer Movin’ Out Inc. signed an agreement to redevelop the site. This redevelopment effort is now under construction and will consist of 150 units of affordable housing with the grocery store on the first floor.

With a nearby Pick Save grocery scheduled to close next year, the city required the development to include a substantial grocery store, to avoid creation of a food desert. In early 2020, Fitchburg-based Luna’s Grocery was announced as the grocery partner, but had to back away from the project amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grocery store will be the anchor commercial tenant in the $42 million, six-story redevelopment underway on the City’s South side, believed to be the largest Black-owned development in Madison history. Maurer’s Urban Market says it will provide every day staples, plus offer a large selection of fresh produce, meat and seafood, and a robust deli/bakery. The lease will be 15 years with several renewal options. It’s expected to open later this year.

Developer Brandon Rule. Photo by Robert Chappell.

“As a second generation grocer, I am beyond excited to be branching out on my own and creating a local, woman-owned grocery store.  I would like to thank the City of Madison and the Rule/Movin Out team for their diligence and commitment to this project.  I cannot wait to design and create a store that represents the neighborhood and my passion for food. I love the fact that this store will help bring healthy food options to the neighborhood and inspire a generation of healthy living,” said Kristie Maurer.

“I was confident that together we would uphold the history of having a full-service grocery in South Madison,” Alder Sheri Carter said in a statement. “The road was not paved in a straight line; however, our determination carried us through to this moment.  I am looking forward to supporting Kristie Maurer’s Urban Market for years to come. I want to acknowledge our City staff for their diligence and support on this project.  Thank you, South Madison residents for believing in me, and your continuous engagement in this project from the beginning.”

“Convenient, affordable access to food is a fundamental human right. People deserve to live in a neighborhood where you can buy what you need and provide for your family. I’m proud to be part of the team committed to bringing a long-term food retail solution to area residents,” Alder Tag Evers said in a statement.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from those who work and live in South Madison that a new grocery store is a top priority. We are pleased to fill this need and move forward with this project,” said Economic Development Director Matt Mikolajewski.