What will Dayton look like in ten or fifteen years? If there’s one guy in town who will be able to tell you, it’s Steve Budd.
Since 1989, Steve has served as President of CityWide, a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen Dayton through strategic economic and community development.
According to the website, “CityWide provides leadership in creating and implementing strategies that address Dayton’s need for economic growth and viable attractive neighborhoods.”
This amazing organization gets the job done by assisting with real estate development, business lending and community development. For the past 40 years, Steve has been helping move these initiatives along. So in other words, if there’s something brewing in Dayton, Steve’s the guy to know.
Steve grew up in a rural town in Ohio and attended the University of Dayton. While he was there, he fell in love with our fair city, and wanted to find a way to help it grow and prosper -- which is exactly what he’s done in his work at CityWide.
Later this year, Steve will pass the baton along to a new president. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Steve to find out more about him, and what he likes to do when he’s not busy making Dayton so awesome.
What upcoming projects do you have on the horizon?
Budd: The City of Dayton is on quite a roll at the moment. Downtown, CityWide is assisting in the redevelopment of the Dayton Arcade, the Wheelhouse Lofts, the YWCA renovation, (and) the Flats in South Park to name just a few of the high-profile projects.
CityWide’s community development efforts are highlighted by our work with Genesis – east Dayton (City of Dayton, Miami Valley & University of Dayton), Phoenix – northwest Dayton (City of Dayton & Good Sam Hospital), DaVinci – northeast Dayton (City of Dayton, Children’s Medical Center & Salvation Army) and HUD Choice – west Dayton (Greater Dayton Premier Management & City of Dayton).
I heard you’re quite the tennis player. How did you get into the sport?
Budd: I fell in love with tennis the year that Arthur Ashe won the US Open (1968).
About 35 years ago I started playing tennis with a bunch of tennis enthusiasts on Tuesday evening at the City of Dayton’s Jim Nichols Tennis Center.
The courts are a bit of a hidden secret in Dayton – six beautiful clay courts in a park-like setting. Approximately 15 players make up the core group. We play June through October on the courts at Nichols. We take our play very seriously, but still have a great time.
What superpower would you love to have?
Budd: I only have one superpower hero – Spiderman. His powers are “superhuman strength, reflexes, balance and something call spider sense.” All these powers would help my tennis game.
When you aren’t playing with your “Tennis Warriors,” where do you go for a good time?
Budd: Dinner at Corner Kitchen or Coco’s, followed by a movie at the NEON.
What’s your favorite spot in Dayton?
Budd: Sitting on my home’s back patio with my wife and our five cats.
And now, the big question: What do you think Dayton will look like in 10 – 15 years?
Budd: Dayton will have its first significant population growth since the sixties, downtown’s residential boom will be followed by a growth in office and retail, and the neighborhoods that are struggling today will have a revitalization.
What’s one word you think people would use to describe you?