By Doug Dalager
I was fortunate to be granted an interview with Bruce Thompson, community bank president of National Bank of Commerce and the fellow leading the charge for Better City Superior. During this video interview, we were able to spend almost an hour together and I came away from the discussion with a much better understanding of what the BCS group has been working on since 2013.
This is another in a long running series of articles by ES about the Better City Superior inititiave.
In this interview he explains that Better City Superior is a 501(c)(6) non-profit economic development corporation. To learn more about such corporations, follow this LINK.
He also discusses Better City US, the brainchild of Matthew Godfrey, the development consultant that BCS is leaning on for advice and guidance. For more about Better City US and Mr. Godfrey, follow this LINK to read a previous article published by ES.
Also included in this interview is information about the Exposition District taxation area created in Milwaukee in 1994, now known as Wisconsin Center. These links will provide you more background on both topics.
Another item of note during the interview is a discussion about gentrification and whether redeveloping downtown Superior will be detrimental to lower income residents. Follow this LINK for a concise definition of gentrification.
Thompson believes that using the term gentrification in regards to the BCS proposal is misplaced. In fact, much of the properties that BCS is focusing on are in fact vacant lots, abandoned buildings and houses, or buildings in very poor repair.
Here is my interview with Bruce Thompson:
Here are four additional videos that you may find interesting in relation to the BCS proposal. First, a CNN new show about Ogden, Utah and how it’s been turned around thanks to intensive redevelopment.
Next, a video that shows wat iFLY skydiving is all about. Thompson mentions it in passing during the interview so I did a quick Google search and found this video that shows how much fun this could be. You can really understand why he is so excited about this form of entertainment.
Finally, here are two last videos that show what an indoor waterpark might mean to downtown Superior. The first is Mount Olympus Indoor Water Park in Wisconsin Dells, and the second is a Kalahari Indoor Water Park in the Poconos. This looks like it would be lots of fun on a cold January day!
Don’t forget, the election is on Tuesday, November 8th, and if you support Better City Superior, please vote YES on the referendum question about the Exposition District. Please stay tuned as we continue to explore how Superior can become a Better City!