in the house
A San Antonio real estate firm co-founded by multimillionaire entrepreneur Graham Weston is converting a historic landmark on the campus of San Antonio College into a restaurant, hotel, and entertainment space.
The firm, Weston Urban, is paying a little over $2 million for the Koehler House. Trustees of the Alamo Colleges District decided last year to sell the property, at 310 W. Ashby Pl. in the Tobin Hill neighborhood, in an effort to save money on renovations. The district’s trustees approved Weston Urban’s bid February 22.
The Koehler property, formally known as the Koehler Cultural Center, once housed San Antonio College’s ceramics, art metals, and jewelry design studios. The three-story, white-limestone mansion, built in 1901, also has served as a conference and meeting venue. The 12,655-square-foot mansion sits on a nearly 2-acre site.
The property’s original owner was Otto Koehler, co-founder and head honcho of what eventually would come to be known as the Pearl Brewery. Following Koehler’s shooting death in 1914, his widow, Emma Koehler, took over the property. After her death in 1943, Otto A. Koehler, son of the senior Otto’s twin brother, and wife Marcia assumed ownership of the estate.
The junior Otto Koehler died in 1969. Two years later, the estate was deeded to the college district for use as the Koehler Cultural Center.
It’s unclear preciously what Weston Urban envisions doing with the Koehler House. Documents from the San Antonio Colleges District indicate the property will become a restaurant, hotel, and entertainment space. Beyond that, details are scare.
Launched in 2012, Weston Urban now owns more than 1 million square feet of commercial and retail space in San Antonio. Its highest-profile project is downtown San Antonio’s Frost Tower office high-rise.
Weston is co-founder, former chairman, and former CEO of Windcrest-based Rackspace, a provider of cloud computing services. He exited the business in 2016, when it was sold to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $4.3 billion. In the Apollo deal, Rackspace went from being a publicly held company to a privately held company. Two years ago, it returned to being a publicly held company.