Designed To Share: Airbnb-Backed Developer Is Building Condos Made For Home Sharing
Miami-based real estate developer Newgard Development Group announced Tuesday that it will open condominium towers purpose-built for home sharing. Operated under the brand Natiivo, the properties in Miami and Austin will be part of Powered by Airbnb, the home-sharing platform’s consulting business for new buildings.
When the first 249 Natiivo units open in Austin in 2021, owners will be encouraged to rent out their apartments when they are out of town. They can choose to list independently or with Natiivo management, which will take 25% of the rental income on top of Airbnb’s 3% listing fee.
Austin condo building
A rendering of the 33-story building in Austin’s Rainey Street District. AZEEZ BAKARE STUDIOS LLC
The buildings will include amenities like co-working spaces and hotel-style food and beverage programs, and apartments can be purchased furnished. Units may feature an extra closet to store sensitive belongings and digital locks for keyless entry.
List prices in Austin will range from $300,000 to $1.2 million. Local real estate firm Pearlstone Partners is co-developing the property.
The Miami project, with 604 units, is expected to open in mid-2022, with prices also starting at $300,000. A portion of the units in both buildings will be held back by the developers and managed like hotel rooms.
Newgard founder Harvey Hernandez are also behind Niido, which provides the same home-sharing services to renters that Natiivo will offer to owners.
Niido invited controversy last year when it took over existing buildings in Nashville and near Orlando, Florida. Many residents who had signed traditional year-long leases felt blindsided. “Surprise, You Live in a Giant Airbnb,” read one headline from Bloomberg.
(Niido’s two buildings were the first—and still the only—buildings cobranded as “Powered by Airbnb.”)
Natiivo is a pivot for Hernandez, who at one point promised 14 Niido buildings would be operating by the end of 2019. He now expects 6, all in the South, where home-sharing regulations are relatively flexible.
“We really wanted to have Niidos in every major city in the U.S., but there are a ton of regulatory challenges in cities where we want to have a presence,” Hernandez says. “So we came up with a brand that provides an opportunity for us to have that presence and also comply with every major city’s regulations and restrictions.”
Natiivo buildings will carry hotel licenses, which is not always allowed in buildings that house long-term tenants.
Natiivo and Niido are part of Airbnb’s wider effort to boost supply and diversify offerings, which is contributing to an industry-wide blurring of residential, hospitality and sometimes office spaces.
In April, the company led a $160 million round of funding into hospitality startup Lyric, which leases apartments in bulk and then rents them out like hotel rooms, making money off the spread. A few weeks later, Airbnb launched a partnership with New York developer RXR Realty to build rental suites, including in 75 Rockefeller Plaza, traditionally an office tower.
In May, WhyHotel, a startup that lists units on Airbnb but is not formally affiliated, announced plans for buildings designed specifically to accommodate both short-term guests and long-term renters.