Main Fremont advancement stalled as developer faces lawful, monetary troubles

George T. Taft

FREMONT — For several several years, Fremont leaders and business advocates have hoped to see the main of the city’s Centerville district get a facelift, and in 2017 it seemed that day would appear.

a truck with a mountain in the background: FREMONT, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 4: A vacant dirt lot where a block of buildings housing some businesses and restaurants used to stand along Fremont Boulevard in Fremont, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

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FREMONT, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 4: A vacant dirt whole lot where a block of buildings housing some businesses and eating places made use of to stand along Fremont Boulevard in Fremont, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Location News Group)

A developer, SiliconSage Builders, stepped up then with a proposal to swap a entire block of lower-slung, 1970s-era buildings with 93 apartments, 72 townhouses and about 25,000 sq. ft of ground-ground retail.


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SiliconSage secured all the ideal approvals from the town — together with a controversial one particular for demolition of a historic, decommissioned fire station. Very last slide, it pushed out businesses and leveled the block of buildings alongside the east aspect of Fremont Boulevard concerning Parish Avenue and Peralta Boulevard.

All the wheels were in movement and fingers crossed that the redevelopment would spark a extended-awaited renaissance of the space as homeowners of nearby houses these as the long vacant theater building across the road would observe match.

But by late December all operate came to a screeching halt with news that SiliconSage was the subject of a $119 million fraud investigation by the federal Securities and Trade Fee.

The fee alleges that SiliconSage CEO Sanjeev Acharya duped hundreds of traders into falsely believing his business enterprise was thriving and lucrative.

In January, Acharya filed for bankruptcy, hoping to reorganize his company’s funds, all when loan companies commenced foreclosure proceedings on numerous properties owned by affiliates he controls.

“It’s disappointing,” Councilman Raj Salwan reported in a new interview.

The internet of authorized and economical problems Acharya is going through make it unlikely that SiliconSage will be able to produce the huge Centerville venture, town officers accept.

And that means inhabitants may be staring at a vacant large amount there for some time.

“This is kind of a critical aspect for Centerville, amongst Peralta and Parish,” Salwan explained. “It was form of a hope that we would have somebody who could assemble the land and pull every little thing alongside one another and kind of generate this catalyst task for the neighborhood.”

“This will undoubtedly established back the development of revitalizing the Centerville enterprise district,” Councilman Yang Shao stated.

In an e-mail to this information group, organizing director Joel Pullen stated the town-authorised entitlement to acquire the area as planned “is good via September of 2022,” so somebody else can arrive by to shift it forward.

“We nevertheless believe that in this remaining a extremely appealing and desirable chance,” Mayor Lily Mei mentioned in an emailed statement.

“I feel people today will be lined up to acquire this chance. This is a fantastic task, it is a good site,” Salwan agreed. “And I think, depending on no matter whether there is a hearth sale, another person might be able to decide it up for a great value.”

Acharya and SiliconSage claimed in court filings that the SEC is unfairly making an attempt to liquidate the company and the complaint in opposition to them represents a “rush to judgement.” Acharya did not reply to multiple calls, emails and textual content messages searching for remark for this tale.

This is not the to start with time a thing like this has occurred in the metropolis, allow on your own Centerville. In 2000, the city used $13 million by means of its previous redevelopment agency to purchase and clear up land down the road at Fremont Boulevard in the vicinity of Thornton Avenue, forcing out a preferred interest store to make an envisioned blended-use progress attainable.

For far more than a ten years, the city experimented with to companion with developers to build a combine of apartments, townhouses, senior housing, upscale places to eat and a grocery store, but the plan in no way took off.

The city inevitably sold off the legal rights to a Danville-primarily based developer who crafted Artist Walk, a blended-use improvement with 185 apartment units that opened in 2017.

Salwan stated the town must be proactive about making sure the stalled Centerville challenge receives finished.

“As quickly as we get the term that it is for sale, we ought to enable all the developers and brokers and most people know that this is out below,” Salwan mentioned.

Contrary to the Centerville undertaking, which has not noticed a single nail driven into wood, SiliconSage has just about concluded Savant, a 93-condominium venture at 42111 Osgood Rd. The web site for that improvement currently is not working.

SiliconSage also experienced preliminary plans for building hundreds of condominiums and flats at two other close by houses on Osgood Highway, according to city reports.

But SiliconSage’s projects are not the only kinds stalled in the metropolis mainly because of lawful or fiscal difficulties dealing with developers.

The Mission Hills Sq. enhancement near Interstate 680 and Auto Mall Boulevard, which is supposed to attribute nearly 55,000 sq. ft of retail and office environment space and 158 condominiums, stalled indefinitely in the center of design simply because of individual bankruptcy, mortgage loan default and two federal authorized cases involving that property’s proprietors and developers.

The making permit for that job, at this time controlled by Gadsden Attributes of Arizona, was issued in July 2017 and will expire next thirty day period if the entrepreneurs “don’t contact for an inspection or productively request an extension for the allow,” Pullen stated.

“We have been contacted by several events considering taking over design to finish the task,” Pullen mentioned.

“It seems like we bought burned twice,” Shao stated.

“This is a substantial difficulty, developers that are setting up and not capable to satisfy their promise,” Salwan mentioned.

Aziz Omar, the operator of De Afghanan Delicacies restaurant and De Afghanan Kabob Household, each located across the road from the SiliconSage Centerville venture whole lot, hopes the situation receives solved soon.

Omar claimed his enterprise has dropped some foot visitors considering that the properties throughout the avenue went down, and now on windy times the grime from that empty large amount blows onto his businesses’ doorsteps.

He needs the town to do a far better job of holding up the ton in the meantime and see the improvement by way of.

“Hopefully any individual will be capable to full the strategy,” Omar stated.

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