The City of Madison announced Thursday that it is finalizing negotiations with Kristie Maurer of Maurer’s Urban Market to open and run a new full-service, 24,000 SF grocery store at the Truman Olson project, located at 815 Cedar St.
“I am very pleased that we are delivering on the City’s promise to ensure that a full-service grocery store will continue to serve all South Madison residents from now into the future,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in a statement.
“I am thrilled to be working on this project. This has been a dream of mine and I could not be more excited to be opening my first grocery store in my hometown,” Maurer said in a statement.
Maurer is owner of Maurer’s Market IGA in Wisconsin Dells and chair of the Wisconsin Grocers Association Board of Governors.
Maurer said the new grocery store will reflect the neighborhood and community it serves.
“You will be able to find all your everyday staples, plus a large selection of fresh produce, meat and seafood, and a large deli/bakery offering,” she said in a statement.
In 2019, the city awarded a contract to Milwaukee-based Rule Enterprises to develop the former Truman Olson Army Reserve Center at 1402 South Park Street into a 30,000-square foot grocery, 150 apartments and a 345-space parking garage. One of the contingencies of the contract was that Rule would be required to secure a grocery partner, as the Pick’n’Save nearby is set to close. It was originally to be demolished to make way for an SSM Health Clinic, but in response to community feedback, SSM changed direction and opted to build their new clinic on Fish Hatchery Road. Still, with the Pick’n’Save set to close next year, community leaders wanted to avoid the neighborhood becoming a food desert.
In January 2020, the city announced that Luna’s Grovery would be that grocery. The store opened in 2019 in the Allied Drive neighborhood, ending a 10-year period without a grocery store in the neighborhood on Madison’s southwest side. Founder Mariam Maldonado said she would open a new 23,000-square-foot store in the Rule development to become not only a grocery but a community hub to open in 2022.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic affected the local economy, Luna’s was forced to step back from the project. Luna’s remains open in the Allied Drive neighborhood.
In May 2021, the City and Rule Enterprises and its partner Movin’ Out, Inc. officially signed a development agreement to redevelop the former Truman Olson Army Reserve Center. This project broke ground in October 2021. It is believed to be the largest Black-owned development in Madison history.
“This has been a top priority of mine, to ensure we avoid a grocery gap on the south side,” Alder Tag Evers said in a statement. “It’s been a very challenging process, but we are rounding the corner here with this announcement. I’m confident that the continued hard work by staff, the development team, and our new grocer will get us across the finish line.”
The new grocery store is anticipated to open prior to the closure of the existing Pick and Save, City officials said in the press release.
Alder Sheri Carter, District 14, said “South Madison has never been without a grocery store going back to the 1950’s and moving forward. I was confident that we would deliver a full-service grocery store once again. I welcome Kristie Maurer to the vibrant South Madison community. In addition, I want to acknowledge our city staff for their commitment and diligence on this project. Finally, I want to thank the South Madison residents for their continuous engagement and support from day one.”
To finalize this process, the City of Madison will complete the purchase of the grocery store condominium space from the Rule / Movin’ Out team. It will then enter into a lease with Maurer’s Urban Market for the operation of the grocery store space in the newly constructed condominium.
This story has been corrected to clarify the evolution in SSM Health’s plans.