Joe Cicciu is the Executive Director of The Belmont Arthur Avenue Local Development Corporation.
Born and raised in the Belmont Community, Joe has always possessed a strong relationship with his neighborhood roots and its members. Upon graduating from Lehman College in 1973 with a dual major in Political Science and History, he was employed by the Council of Belmont Organizations as a community social worker. During his time there, he assisted in renting over 600 units at the Keith and Kelly Apartment Complexes. In addition, he contributed efforts to the Italian American Alliance where he assisted community residents in obtaining employment. In 1979, Joe was hired by the South Bronx Development Organization to stop and reverse the deterioration of the Bronx, which included the Belmont community. In August of 1981, Joe’s mission of community revitalization ascended as he founded the Belmont Arthur Avenue Local Development Corporation and began his first federally funded low-income senior housing project, Notre Dame Apartments located at 660 East 183rd Street. Although restoring the borough’s housing stock was the ultimate mission of the BAALDC, commercial revitalization of the Belmont community was where the first rebuilding began.
The commercial revitalization program spanned approximately 10 years from March 1983 to June 1993. The streets of Belmont were re-paved, store front facades were upgraded, and 3 notable Belmont sightings, Columbus Plaza/D’Auria Murphy Park, Pernicone Plaza, and Frank Simeone Plaza, were constructed as focal points throughout the neighborhood. Marketing videos, shopping bags, restaurant brochures, and a colorful caricature map of the Belmont community all aided with the efforts of the community revitalization plan. Through the BAALDC, Joe had sponsored several years of the famous Ferragosto feast which is viewed as the primary Italian American festival in the Tri-State Area. For further details of the above mentioned community revitalization projects, click here. (Link to OUR STORY).
Since 1984, the BAALDC has received a series of administrative funds to help towards the revitalization and stabilization of the housing stock in Belmont and its surrounding communities. Programs funded by the City of New York include: the Neighborhood Preservation Consultant Program (NPCP), the Community Consultant Program (CCP), the Housing Preservation Initiative (HPI), and the HPD “Lead” Primary Prevention Program (PPP). For further details on each of these programs, click here.
In addition, since 1984 we been funded by the New York State Housing Community Renewal Program (HCR), which has assisted the BAALDC to utilize federal, city, and state resources in the development of housing initiatives to create as well as preserve affordable housing opportunities for individuals (young and elderly), families, as well as the special needs populations in the Belmont community and other areas of the South Bronx. As of today, these efforts have produced 75 buildings consisting of 2500 units with plans for future developments in the years to come. To view the building portfolio of the BAALDC, click here.
Joe’s belief is that our work is far from done. The BAALDC will continue to pursue housing opportunities in order to continue to strengthen the Belmont community and all of the wonderful areas of the South Bronx. The BAALDC believes that our efforts have given the residents of the Bronx renewed confidence in their communities and that they will continue to thrive and remain a welcoming environment to raise their families and participate in the ever growing vitality of New York City.