San Antonio: Cisneros-Miramontes Renovate the West Side’s Munguia Printers Building
Feature Photo: View of the renovated interior of the former Munguia Printers Building at 2201 Buena Vista Street. Courtesy: Cisneros-Miramontes.
San Antonio (Bexar County) — Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and business partner Victor Miramontes are nearing completion on the adaptive reuse renovation of a historic West Side building–Munguia Printers at 2201 Buena Vista Street.
The Cisneros-Miramontes investment firm will soon be relocating to the iconic landmark. The Munguia Building is a 7,472 square foot complex which is part of the redevelopment of a city block which also includes the purchase and renovation of the adjacent 5,404 square foot Wascher Clinic.
The Munguia Printers Building as it appeared in 2010.
The Munguia property holds personal significance for the firm as much as it does cultural relevance. It was formerly owned by one of the city’s largest print shops and founded by Cisneros’ maternal grandfather Romulo Munguia. When the family-owned business closed in 2015, Cisneros acquired the building and committed to renovating it as a spur to development of the Commerce-Buena Vista corridor, linking downtown to the city’s traditional Westside.
The Munguia Building renovation is now complete and finish-out of the interior offices will be completed in the next 60 days.
Cisneros-Miramontes plans to move from their present location at 454 Soledad Street by year’s end. The firm has been at the Soledad Street location since 2000 and has owned the building since 2015. The building, which is a little more than 20,000 square-feet, has now been sold to Real Holdings, LLC.
The Munguia complex will include the two-story print shop building, to be called The Shop, which will house Cisneros-Miramontes on the first level and a research library on the second level. The library, to be named The Georgeand Elvira Cisneros Research Library, will be home to several nonprofit education and research organizations including the Shirane Foundation, which focuses on enhancing San Antonio’s relationship with Japan and taking Bexar County high school honor students on study trips to Japan.
The renovation of the former Wascher Clinic on the remainder of the city block will be leased to a number of business operations affiliated with Cisneros-Miramontes, including the San Antonio offices of American Triple I and Siebert Williams Shank.
The Cisneros-Miramontes decision to relocate to the near Westside is intended to contribute to stronger development on Commerce and Buena Vista streets, the principal entryways to the traditional Westside.
“San Antonio’s downtown has made steady progress and we see that positive impact in the form of strong development to the south, east and north of downtown. The Westside has lagged though, and deserves attention, investment and increased employment,” said Cisneros, who grew up and currently lives within blocks of The Shop. “Fortunately, several groups of residents and advocates are working to together to establish economic generators that are respectful of the families, neighborhoods and traditions of an area that has contributed so much to our city,” added Cisneros.
The Shop’s lobby will include memorial walls designed by visual artist George Cisneros depicting the immigrant origins of the Munguia family and the history of the business, which operated on the Westside since the 1930s. Romulo and Carolina Munguia were civic leaders who co-founded organizations such as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Spanish-speaking parent-teacher associations in Westside schools.
“Henry and I have been blessed with our families, professional colleagues and careers,” said Miramontes. “Locating our offices at The Shop is a celebratory homecoming that pays tribute to the many people and generations that came before us and paved the way for our success. I am really looking forward to our new home and instilling a vibrant tempo for the future of our Westside community.”
Exterior view, since its renovation, of the former Munguia Printers Building. Courtesy: Cisneros-Miramontes.
The near Westside has been the focus of new developments in recent years such as the co-working space “5” and an artist incubator, The Parish. In addition, the corridor has benefited from investments by H-E-B, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q, NRP Group, Cardinal Group, American Sunrise, Our Lady of the Lake University, Mission DG, LiftFund and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
It is anticipated that UTSA’s commitment to new academic programs on the near Westside will draw as many as 15,000 students to the area. Westside leaders are approaching the challenge of balancing protecting long-time homeowners and blending new developments that will complement the area. Cisneros and Miramontes will be active in finding solutions to achieve that balance.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.