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Chip off the old block

image Roberto Marín, owner of Acre Block

AUSTIN - Funny how things work out sometimes. Take Roberto Marín, for instance. As head of Bison Build, he wasn’t planning to start his own separate, masonry entity, but that’s sure how it worked out.






    Marín started Bison Build in 2010, registering it in 2012. In the course of doing his projects, people were taking notice of the well-designed and constructed masonry items, like retaining and CMU walls. As things developed, Marín formed Acre Block in 2015. It is not connected to Bison Build, although Marín heads both. In fact, Marín now spends about 60 percent of his time in the masonry side of his life.
    “It just became its own business,” Marín said, of Acre Block.
    Marín was an architectural major at the University of Texas, Austin, but hails from Mexico originally. The process of building in Mexico is different than in the States. There, the same company that designs a structure will also build it, start to finish.
    When Marín came to America, he was surprised to see “how fragmented all the trades were. In Mexico, the same crew does the whole process,” he said.
    Be that as it may, however, Marín admits there are advantages and disadvantages to both systems.
    With the Mexican style of building in his background, it was a natural move to go from the two-dimensional work of the architectural world to the three-dimensional world of building. “When I started working as an architect,” Marín said, “I knew that eventually I would be building my own designs. I’ve always been interested in the whole process.”
    Part of that process was doing more and more masonry work, which was noticed. So much so, that Marín’s brother heads up the San Antonio branch of Acre Block. Typically, he has two to three projects going on at any given time. And, Marín wants to grow the San Antonio division even more, as his brother also has a building background.
    That makes both guys chips off the old block.
    Acre Block does masonry work in the Austin area. -dsz

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Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net