SiliconSage Builders Evolves with Its Market
SiliconSage focuses on the Silicon Valley area, particularly the California cities of Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Freemont and San Jose.
Some companies are set in their ways, but SiliconSage Builders evolves with the changes in California’s Silicon Valley market. When new construction trends emerge, the company makes it a best practice to ride “the wave” with them, CEO and owner Sanjeev Acharya says.
For example, the firm’s first project was a mixed-use development, but over the years, it has changed with the times and branched out into rental apartment and multifamily properties. “That is really part of our success – understanding what the cities want and being part of that vision,” he declares.
Acharya founded the construction and building company in 2011 after working as a software engineer and in real estate. Over the years, SiliconSage has completed 12 projects totaling more than 300 units.
Today, it continues to stay focused on the Silicon Valley area, particularly the cities of Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Fremont and San Jose. But as the company develops each project, it not only looks at what the local cities want, but the communities’ aspirations as well.
This gives SiliconSage an edge over larger competitors and makes the project go more smoothly. “We do our best to incorporate those in the design so there is a win-win situation,” Acharya says. “We are a very community-oriented developer.”
Another advantage for SiliconSage is its ability to complete multiple aspects of the project inhouse, including design/build and sales. This allows its staff to exchange ideas and learn continuously from one another, Acharya says.
“We keep ourselves focused in a very relevant space to our business, apply learnings and grow the skills of our employees to make it better from project to project,” he says. For example, its construction team can provide feedback even as a project is being designed.
“They will say, ‘These are the challenges we face,’” Acharya says. “The design team will do the same thing so they build the project to the right quality and the right standards.”
Its teams also focus on using the newest technologies in its work, which include 3-D modeling. Today, “BIM is a big part of our design/build process,” he reports.
Currently, Acharya says, BIM is largely used in the non-residential side of construction, but the company wants to change that. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity to improve on that front,” he states.
SiliconSage’s community focus is particularly important when it comes to designing its developments. “We have to make sure that [our developments] fit in with the neighborhood so we don’t [stick out],” Acharya says.
This can be an even more important driving factor than a buyer or renter dictating what they want in their new homes. However, he asserts, the company pays close attention to their opinions as well.
Recently, residents have requested modern amenities including lockers where they can receive mail deliveries without fear of them being stolen. They also value community rooms, gyms and other spaces for gathering with families and friends.
“Those are the things we keep in mind when we do the design of the building,” Acharya says. “It’s about fixing it to the needs of the occupants and the outside so it fits into the character of the neighborhood.”
Growing the Portfolio
SiliconSage is poised to expand its portfolio with multiple projects in 2020, including Savant @ Irvington. The 284-unit project will break ground in Fremont before the end of this year.
Another is Sunset @ Alum Rock, which will consist of five buildings in San Jose with 738 residential units and retail space on its ground floor. SiliconSage expects to finish the entitlement process in the first quarter of 2020, and will head “into construction in the later part of the year,” he predicts.
SiliconSage also has Peralta, a development in Fremont that will have 93 apartment units, 72 townhomes and 26,000 square feet of commercial space. “You will be able to go down the elevator and find a lot of stuff on the ground floor,” he says.
Acharya expects SiliconSage to stay focused on the Silicon Valley area going forward. However, “There’s a lot of potential down the road to expand to other similar geographical areas,” he notes.
This may find the company expanding to southern California, Seattle or Texas. But first, “We’ve got to get through some major projects here and get some focus before we diversify,” he asserts. “That’s our goal.”