For SiliconSage Builders President and CEO Sanjeev Acharya active relationships with the leaders of Silicon Valley cities is a key business principle. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and City Councilmember Debi Davis, Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Sunnyvale Vice-Mayor Gustav Larsson joined with SiliconSage team members, investors and other guests April 26 to celebrate the company’s new headquarters in Sunnyvale at 560 S. Mathilda Ave.
The mayors represented four cities where SiliconSage high-density housing projects are underway. From the rooftop of its Mathilda building, completed in fall of 2015, guests enjoyed vistas of Sunnyvale and the mountains beyond to the east and west.
Before Acharya addressed the guests, the mayors made brief comments.
“SiliconSage has done some projects in Santa Clara that we’re incredibly proud of,” said Gillmor, getting a laugh when she confessed having initial reservations about the then unproven company.
“What you’ve done in downtown Santa Clara is something no one else has been able to do in decades. It’s a spectacular project, the first of its kind in downtown Santa Clara in decades,” continued Gillmor, referring to the 44-unit Downtown Gateway project that broke ground October 13, 2015, across from the Franklin Mall. It is scheduled for completion mid-2017.
SiliconSage focuses on high-density, urban in fill projects that are mixed-use, with residential over commercial space and underground parking.
“We identify opportunities in underâ€utilized properties and see opportunity where others don’t,” Acharya said.
Silicon Sage’s Santa Clara residential projects, totaling 145 units, include three others under construction: Rosa, 555 Saratoga Ave.; Alexis, 2585 El Camino; and Madison Place, 1460 Monroe, where the SiliconSage sales office will be located when the project is completed later this year. All but Downtown Gateway, which was given a waiver since it was a catalyst project, have below-market-rate units.
SiliconSage Builders has a diverse team with roots reaching beyond California. Acharya was born in India. Purchasing Director Michael Chau is from Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, and Design Director Rodolfo Chacon was born in Guatemala.
Chacon believes that the diversity of the work team, its open-mindedness and its use of technology in designing projects are company strengths.
“We’re not set in our ways. We have a young leader and team characterized by open-mindedness. Freshness comes with open minds and open hearts,” said Chacon. “Sanjeev comes from the tech side. He insists on using cutting edge technology.”
“We’ve come a long way in a short time. In 2010 we broke ground [on our first project]. Then the development bug bit me,” said Acharya, who came to the U.S. in 1998 and quit his Bay Area job as a software engineer to start SiliconSage in 2011.
The company integrates design, building and sales in-house, subcontracting construction work, and in under five years, it already has 500 residential units in the pipeline. Its goal is to undertake 500 more within six months and reach a total of 1,500 units in two years.
Fremont resident Ashok Venkataramana is an investor.
“I feel confident. His (Acharya’s) excitement was a key factor in encouraging our investment,” says Venkataramana. “I just hope the market stays hot.”
Acharya and his family, including his in-laws, live in the Mathilda project, above the ground-floor corporate headquarters.
“My wife wanted to live close to downtown. The only way you can do that is to live in the air,” said Acharya. “The urban lifestyle is a kick. I ‘drive’ to work in the elevator. We walk to restaurants. It’s a very exciting feeling, living like this.”
SiliconSage Builders (www.siliconsagebuilders.com) is eager to break new ground both figuratively and literally. Acharya enthusiastically leads the way–an American immigrant success story.