The march of Airbnb towards being a fully-fledged property company took a step further towards reality this week after it was revealed that the home-sharing platform is to spend $200 million launching a series of Airbnb apartment blocks.
The initial development, which is due to open before the end of March next year, will be the first Airbnb-branded building in the world and is to be in Kissimmee, Florida.
Within the building, tenants will be encouraged to rent out their homes via the home-sharing website, and in return receive aparthotel-style services to help manage each Airbnb booking.
The $20m, 423-apartment building – which is under construction – is Airbnb’s attempt to get around the problems it has faced when, around the world and particularly in the UK, apartment block owners and tenants have railed against the downsides of home sharing.
This includes helping push up local rents by eating up the long-term rental market, contravening local property laws, undermining local communities and that the people who rent out Airbnb apartments tend to be noisy and transient holiday makers.
The Kissimmee apartment block is owned by Airbnb’s partner in the venture, the Newgard Development Group, while the concept is to be called Niido powered by Airbnb.
It is believed that Newgard will receive up to 15% of the revenue created by the Airbnb rentals and is planning to roll out the concept across the south-eastern US later this year.
Each apartment block will feature keyless entry and on-demand concierge service, property cleaning and luggage services plus tenants will be allowed to rent their apartment for up to six months a year.
“We’re trying to make sure that home-sharing is not done in the shadows,” JaJa Jackson, Airbnb’s Global Partnerships Director (pictured, left). “This partnership shows how landlords, developers and Airbnb can work together.”