James Salata


Garden City Construction

San Jose Director

Jim Salata was born in Lawton Oklahoma in 1955 while his dad was stationed at Fort Sill. He is the oldest of five brothers, a native of Pennsylvania, grandson of Hungarian immigrants. He was raised until nine years old on a 40 acre farm in Salix Pennsylvania, a town of 600 people.  In 1964 the Salata family moved to Orange County California. Jim graduated from Brea High School in 1972 and received an AA in liberal arts 1977 from Fullerton Junior College.

In the early 70’s Jim worked in the golf club manufacturing and export business and in the mid 70’s worked for Alpha Beta non foods division.

In 1979 Jim moved to the Bay Area and began working as a construction laborer performing roofing & demolition work.

In 1980 he worked on the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. In 1981 he moved to San Jose and fell in love with a downtown badly in need of renovation.

Jim worked as a labor, carpenter, and superintendent for Barry Swenson for 7 years.

Jim founded Garden City Construction in 1989. His vision was to create a first-class construction company to perform general construction with an emphasis on local history and historic preservation and adaptive reuse of buildings. He started Buccaneer Demolition in 1995 as a division of Garden City Construction. Both companies have always placed a heavy emphasis on recycling and salvage.

Garden City Construction has had the privilege of working on very challenging projects such as Jose Theatre, The Wilcox Building, The Twohy Building, The Waterman Building (Bella Mia Expansion), Hotel Jose (Zanotto’s), Spartan Stadium, The St. Claire Building, The Boschken Building, Del Monte Plant 51 District Managers Office, The San Jose Civic Auditorium, the seismic retrofit of the Letitia Building, the Beckwith and Rankin Buildings in Los Gatos and The Cooperage in San Francisco. Retail projects include Gordon Biersch, SOFA Billiards, McWorter’s Stationers, Original Joe’s Restaurant, Hunter’s Video Bar, Billy Berk’s and Mezcal Restaurants.

Jim’s hobbies include water skiing, motorcycling, body boarding, collecting architectural antiques, bottle collecting, and music. He has been married to his wife Suzanne for 20 years.