Repurposing a former factory site to revitalize the Northside

DATES: 2018 – Present

NEED: The opportunity to reposition the 72-acre former Oscar Mayer site and the surrounding Northside area for the next 100 years is “one of the more important economic development projects that Madison will undertake.” Oscar Mayer/Kraft had been a major employer and one of Madison’s most prominent economic assets, employing some 4,000 jobs at its peak. After its closure, the City of Madison made a strategic decision to complete thorough assessment and analysis to identify the larger opportunities for redevelopment and reinvestment in the Oscar site and surrounding area.

ROLE: The City hired Vandewalle & Associates & EQT by Design (the Project Team) to support the City’s Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development. The Project Team conducted the assessment and opportunity analysis, committee management, and community outreach efforts. As part of the analysis and assessment, Vandewalle & Associates completed a deep-dive analysis at three different scales, regional, Northside, and site analysis to uncover opportunities. The assessment and analysis were informed by robust focus group engagement sessions and wider community outreach efforts completed by EQT by Design with support from Vandewalle & Associates. Overall, the analysis completed informed the future positioning of the area for attracting employers and investment opportunities, the long-range vision for the area, and redevelopment objectives to guide future planning endeavors.

OUTCOMES: The resulting report included an inclusive vision for the corridor, redevelopment objectives, and a series of high-level “big picture” opportunities to be further explored during phase 2 of the process. The assessment, analysis, and engagement efforts laid the groundwork for the a more detailed Special Area Plan process to occur in Phase 2, ongoing as of 2020.