Complete Site Development
Siteworks Contracting Corp. self-performs comprehensive services
The founders of Siteworks Contracting Corp. (Siteworks), Patricia “Patty” Rossi, President, and Artie Rossi, Executive Project Manager, were born in Italy. They immigrated to the U.S. with their families when they were young children and grew up in modest circumstances as their parents struggled to succeed economically. Though they had common childhood experiences, the couple wouldn’t actually meet for many years. “Our experiences growing up made us tough,” says Artie. Those experiences also instilled a strong work ethic that is the rock on which they ultimately built Siteworks 25 years ago.
The husband/wife team started Siteworks in 1996 with a goal of providing comprehensive exterior site work services and outstanding craftsmanship under one roof, from site development to landscaping. “Because we self-perform all work, we’ve never missed a deadline,” says Artie. “We can guarantee dates and ensure that the work is completed on time. Performing all work in-house with our own people gives us full control at all times.”
The company provides demolition and excavation, structural concrete, support of excavation (SOE), asphalt and paving services, as well as drilling and piling. The certified Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE) serves a broad range of clients, including many in higher education and the private sector, from its Mount Vernon, New York, headquarters and two additional equipment yards.
Projects span site development, reinforced concrete, and large-scale excavation, foundation and paving work for clients in the five boroughs of New York City and Westchester County. Siteworks owns more than 120 pieces of equipment, from excavators, bulldozers and loaders to milling machines, paving machines, drills, drilling rigs and piling rigs. “This allows us to take on any challenge and self-perform all site work for every project,” says Matthew Rossi, Junior Estimator.
Two Generations of Commitment
Patty and Artie grew up in New Rochelle but didn’t meet until a blind date in Brooklyn. Artie had worked in the building industry from the age of 17 when he joined his dad on construction and landscaping projects. “He knew he wanted to expand the scope of his work to excavation and foundation and start a company. He had a vision,” says Patty. They were a young married couple with a year-old baby when they started Siteworks. “I worked during the day for a general contractor and managed the administration of our new business at night,” she recalls. “Artie was both our superintendent and our laborer at the beginning!”
Today, the business has 75 employees. Patty manages its administration and interfaces with clients on contracts. “She motivates our nine-person office staff every day,” says Artie, who oversees day-to-day operations and all field personnel.
Siteworks is now a two-generation business, with their sons Matthew and Project Manager Michael Rossi now in full-time managerial roles. Daughter Lili Rossi, a high school senior, helps out in the summer. “Our children share our passion and will continue to build Siteworks,” says Patty. “We built the foundation and got it to this point. They bring new energy to our operations.”
There is also a second generation of employees at Siteworks. “Many of our employees now have their sons working here, too,” says Michael. “Their kids grow up and then they come to work here with their fathers. Our employees trust us enough to bring their own children into our company. They know we’re all in it together and that we’re in it for the long haul.”
Summer is a busy season for construction projects on university campuses. Precise performance is required to meet tight deadlines. Patty says that Siteworks excels at these fast-paced projects with intense schedules. “We’re typically not able to start until June, after graduation. It’s critical that we finish our work before students return in mid-August for the fall semester,” says Patty.
Their craftsmanship is a focal point of Columbia University’s College Walk at Low Plaza. The space, used for outdoor concerts and performances, is described on Columbia’s website as “one of the great urban spaces in America.” “It was an important project for Columbia,” says Michael, who works closely with the university. “Students and faculty pass through College Walk every day to get where they are going.”
Siteworks successfully completed Phase One of College Walk, a $3 million project, in just 10 weeks. “We were a new contractor for the university at that time,” says Artie. “Meeting that deadline was crucial to them and to us.”
Since that first project for Columbia 15 years ago, Siteworks has completed multiple projects on its campus. The company finished Phase Two of College Walk this year, three weeks ahead of schedule.
A track record of successful, timely completion has led to many subsequent higher-education projects at Fordham University, Manhattan College, St. John’s University, Purchase College and other area institutions.
Revitalization and Restoration
Revitalization efforts in New Rochelle and White Plains, New York, have helped restore those downtown areas and bring back businesses, residents and visitors. Showstopper buildings and outdoor areas have reshaped their landscapes. Siteworks has been involved in several projects essential to these downtown revivals, many of them the largest projects completed in these cities in decades.
It was especially meaningful for Patty and Artie to be involved in the first phase of revitalizing New Rochelle where they grew up, including construction of New Roc City, an entertainment, retail and residential complex (also known as New Rochelle Center). “At the time, it was the biggest project under construction in the city. It was a project that truly put us on the map,” says Artie.
Siteworks also completed exterior projects in conjunction with the downtown area’s 40-story flagship building, The Residences at Trump Plaza New Rochelle, as well as smaller projects associated with the area’s urban revival.
In White Plains, Siteworks played a major role on exterior projects associated with construction of the 42-floor Ritz-Carlton Hotel (now the Opus Westchester), White Plains City Center a large, mixed-use development project, and the eight-level Lyon Place Garage.
Siteworks continues work on related projects in the ongoing redevelopment of New Rochelle, White Plains and surrounding towns.
A Culture of Hard Work and Opportunity
“The company would not have the success that is has if it wasn’t for our Siteworks team,” says Artie. Most employees have been with the company for a decade or longer.
It’s motivating and encouraging for employees to know that no one in a position of leadership—whether a field supervisor or project manager—hesitates to show how a procedure should be done or work alongside them. Artie gladly hops on a piece of equipment to demonstrate its use. “We’re constantly providing hands-on training,” he says. “Patty and I believe in hard work, in people trying to improve themselves.”
New employees coming through the door often remind him of his younger self, looking for jobs while struggling with the language and other obstacles. “I like to show people all of the opportunities available to them here. My famous line to every employee is: ‘The world is at your fingertips in our company. I want you to start as a laborer and become a project manager or estimator.’ ”
“We encourage our people to learn and move up the financial and social ladder,” says Patty. “We want them to succeed. But they have to want it; then we’ll give them full support and train them.” She notes with pride that many of their employees have bought homes and put their children through college.
All employees receive OSHA-40 training. The company also sends team members to trade- and safety- focused seminars to stay abreast of new procedures and technology, and they take leaders with them to industry conferences like CONEXPO-CON/AGG and the International Foundations Congress & Equipment Expo (IFCEE). “It’s critical for us and for our clients that we are attuned to the latest technology. Our industry is constantly evolving,” says Artie.
“We count our blessings every day,” says Patty. We’ve endured ups and downs in the economy and the industry, and we’ve overcome them, including the pandemic. We remained open, our employees continued working and we didn’t lay off anyone. We’re proud of that.”
“We’re also so proud of our employees. Each person is important,” says Artie. “Treating people well is the key to success. I’m confident that that tradition of caring will continue.
“We cherish the success we’ve achieved,” he adds. “We have a great work ethic and appreciate everyone we work for, our clients and our staff. We could not do it without them.”