Procida Companies LLC
Procida continues to take advantage of a robust market for affordable housing to build thriving communities in New York City’s outer boroughs.
By Chris Kelsch
Procida Companies LLC is a third-generation family-owned construction and real estate development company that develops, builds and markets luxury, market rate and affordable housing. “We develop neighborhoods, we develop communities,” the company says. “Procida offers its clients and partners solutions to real estate complexities ranging from construction to sales to developmental partnering – all based on countless years of industry experience.”
Mario Procida, who emigrated from Sicily in 1928, founded the company that same year and ran it out of a storefront in Manhattan. His son Joseph continued running the business, and moved the offices of the company to the Bronx to be closer to his home in New Jersey. As a kid, the current president, also named Mario, worked on construction sites in the family business. But he also knew he wanted to do more than construction, recognizing that much of the decision-making comes at the developmental stage.
Though Procida Companies has developed and built notable projects throughout Manhattan, it really hit its stride in the 1980s. At the time, the company was focusing on building fast-food restaurants, but Mario decided to gamble on a project in the South Bronx with his brother, William. That project was White Beach Condominiums near Throgs Neck Bridge, and it made Procida one of the few companies that was building in the South Bronx.
As time went on, redevelopment of the South Bronx became a priority of New York City. As a result, many local groups contacted Procida to bid on a subsidized housing project, which became Salters Square, a group of 130 townhouses. Since that initial project, the New York City Housing Partnership, a nonprofit group that serves as an intermediary between the city and developers, has sponsored many of Procida’s projects.
With strong ties to the Bronx, the company has amassed an impressive portfolio of award-winning designs in affordable housing. From 1991-’94, the company developed and built Melrose Court, a 256-unit cornerstone of the Melrose Commons Redevelopment Plan. It set “the standard of affordable housing developments in the Bronx,” according to the company.
Developed as part of the New York City Housing Partnership’s Homeowners program, it was significant because it departed from lower-density single- and two-family homes to a higher-density, condominium structure. “For its excellence in design,” the company says, “Melrose Court received the Pillars of Excellence Award for the Best Affordable Housing Development in the Country from Multi Family News.”
Another award-winning design was Plaza de Los Angeles, which was developed in conjunction with the community organization We Stay/ Nos Quedamos Committee. “These 35 three-family homes continued the tradition of home ownership in the Melrose neighborhood,” the company says, “and sustained Procida’s commitment to affordable housing in the community.” The project received the Boston Society of Architects A/AIA New York Housing Design Award in 2000.
Though it has focused a great deal on the Bronx, more recently the company has created partnerships in other boroughs as well. In February, Procida announced it was partnering with Brooklyn-based developer Brisa Builders and the Church of God of East Flatbush to build a 481-unit affordable residential project in Bronzeville, N.Y., a residential neighborhood in east Brooklyn. In fact, Procida was one of the first companies to recognize the potential of young urban workers living in Brooklyn, originally starting to build there as far back as 2001.
For Procida, that first project in Brooklyn was One Grand Army Plaza, overlooking the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch. It is a 114-unit, 15-story luxury residence built steps from Prospect Park. Such properties have broadened Procida’s range of projects and kept it competitive in markets throughout all of New York, including Manhattan. Procida also constructed the Dillon, a seven-story, 83-unit condominium building on West 53rd Street that completely sold out in 2013.
As the company approaches its 90th anniversary in 2018, it realizes its bread and butter remains in affordable housing and community development. In early 2017 it announced yet another project in the southeast Bronx. This project would be 206 rental units spread across two separate buildings in the Bronx’s Parkchester neighborhood. Half of the units will be reserved for people who earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income. The other half will be reserved for people who make 80 percent of the area’s median income. Again, the project will be financed by the New York City Department of Housing and Urban Development and New York City.
As its roots in community development remain strong, Procida continues to develop a strong portfolio of diverse projects to fulfill its clients’ needs, be it development or construction.