New owner takes over University Tower, sets sights on renovation

GREELEY — For the second time this year, the University Tower Apartments building in downtown Greeley has changed hands.

Unified Investments LLC, led by Ben Fetherston, closed late last month on the 10-story building at  609 8th Ave.

The nearly 45-year-old property was sold by previous owner 609 8th Avenue LLC for about $4.97 million, Weld County public records show. 609 8th Avenue LLC purchased University Tower in March for more than $6.65 million.

The building, initially built as a Holiday Inn, was converted into apartments about 20 years ago. Since then, the property has changed hands and changed names several times. Along with the residences, University Tower was home to the now-shuttered restaurants The Patio Pub & Grill and the Tilted Kilt.

Fetherston, who has moved from Denver to Greeley to work on the University Tower project full time, said he has his sights set on renovating and stabilizing the property.

“There has been a lot of not only tenant turnover but ownership turnover as well,” he said. “Up until this point, it seems that whoever has bought it has not been able to put in the resources need to turn it into something really nice. There’s so much potential here and I’m really hoping I’m that guy.”

Fetherston said the plan is to renovate the existing units — a mix on one- and two- bedroom units converted from former hotel rooms — into 100 studio apartments. The studios will be about 350 square feet and will include updated flooring, cabinets and appliances.

“My goal is to have properties that are nice, clean, functional, and with a good tenant base,” he said.

Redevelopment is expected to start within the next few weeks with the first renovated apartments available to move in within the next month or two, he said.

Leases for current residents will not be renewed and renovations will take place on a rolling basis as tenants move out. Existing residents will be given an opportunity to move into one of the new units.  

Fetherston said he is still a bit unsure what will become of the commercial space at University Tower.

There is an empty retail storefront, but he said it may make sense to turn those into additional apartments rather than search for new business tenants.

“When I’m looking at these properties, I’m always trying to figure out the highest and best use.”

The restaurant space was left in a bit of disarray by the former occupant, he said, but overall it appears to be in good shape.

“I’m working on figuring out whether it makes sense for another restaurant to move in there or if there is some better use for the space,” Fetherston said.

If he does decide to move a new restaurant in, Fetherston said he will make sure it is a concept not likely to cause disturbances or late-night noise for the residential tenants of the building.

GREELEY — For the second time this year, the University Tower Apartments building in downtown Greeley has changed hands.

Unified Investments LLC, led by Ben Fetherston, closed late last month on the 10-story building at  609 8th Ave.

The nearly 45-year-old property was sold by previous owner 609 8th Avenue LLC for about $4.97 million, Weld County public records show. 609 8th Avenue LLC purchased University Tower in March for more than $6.65 million.

The building, initially built as a Holiday Inn, was converted into apartments about 20 years ago. Since then, the property has changed hands and changed names several times. Along with the residences, University Tower was home to the now-shuttered restaurants The Patio Pub & Grill and the Tilted Kilt.

Fetherston, who has moved from Denver to Greeley to work on the University Tower project full time, said he has his sights set on renovating and stabilizing the property.

“There has been a lot of not only tenant turnover but ownership turnover as well,” he said. “Up until this point, it seems that whoever has bought it has not been able to put in the resources need to turn it into something really nice. There’s so much potential here and I’m really hoping I’m that guy.”

Fetherston said the plan is to renovate the existing units — a mix on one- and two- bedroom units converted from former hotel rooms — into 100 studio apartments. The studios will be about 350 square feet and will include updated flooring, cabinets and appliances.

“My…