Investors reap rewards of University Gardens renovations

U Gardens

Posted By: Pat Nelson / May 15 2017

Nelson Brothers Professional Real Estate recently completed a renovation and re-syndication of the historical University Gardens student apartments in Salt Lake City that helped to more than double the number of tenants and increased rental revenue by 76 percent.

The renovation maintained the authenticity of the property’s historical exterior while bringing the interior of the units in line with the contemporary standards that today’s sophisticated college student has come to expect.

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University Gardens, located two blocks from the University of Utah, was built in 1946 and acquired by Nelson Brothers in 2013 by sponsoring a group of TIC investors as a shorter-term (3-year hold) value-add project.

Under Nelson Brothers’ stewardship, the apartments have seen a remarkable transformation that has provided investors with 60.4 percent appreciation in less than four years.

“Due to the phenomenal location of this property, we were able to add value by taking an older building and renovating the interiors and exteriors while still maintaining the historical integrity of the exterior architecture,” Nelson Brothers principal and co-founder Brian Nelson said. “Our investors were pleased with the outcome, knowing that we’ve been able to increase and maintain occupancy to 100 percent during the school year.”

University Gardens is currently 100 percent occupied with 193 tenants – all with 12-month lease terms and parental guarantees. When Nelson Brothers purchased the complex in 2013, the apartments had 83 tenants.

The renovations to the exterior included the addition of a hot tub area, a lounging patio, new furniture, a courtyard with a fireplace, and a deck with multiple barbecues. The improvements to the all-new contemporary interiors included upgraded appliances and modified floor plans.

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Additionally, the successful execution of the property management strategy increased the bed count from 128 to 193 while increasing rental revenue from $712 to $1,250 per month.

The apartments consist of 16 four-unit buildings and one townhome. The property has a mix of two-bedroom units, featuring one shared and one private bedroom, and three-bedroom units, as well as two townhouse units with five bedrooms each.

In addition to its proximity to the University of Utah, University Gardens is conveniently located eight blocks from both the new $1.5 billion mixed-use City Creek Center and the Downtown Central Business District.