Natiivo ‘Home Sharing’ Tower Breaks Ground in the Rainey Street District

A groundbreaking event took place this morning for Natiivo, the “Airbnb-powered” homesharing brand announced earlier this summer as the identity of the 33-story tower planned for many years at 48 East Avenue in the Rainey Street District.

The Natiivo business model is pretty groundbreaking in its own right, as the first of its kind in the Austin market. Developed jointly by Austin’s Pearlstone Partners and Miami-based outfit Newgard Development Group, the project is technically permitted as a 249-unit hotel, but will allow buyers to purchase individual rooms and rent them out to guests via Airbnb. The building’s management receives a cut of the profits from these short-term rentals, in exchange for providing hotel-style amenities including cleaning, concierge, and valet services.

The unique business model of the Natiivo concept, combined with common frustrations regarding Airbnb properties and other short-term rentals, means its developers are doing their best to make inroads with the project’s neighbors — in this case, the Rainey Neighbors Association. Developers Harvey Hernandez of Newgard and Robert Lee of Pearlstone presented Rainey NA president Sandra De Leon with a $5,000 donation in giant novelty check form, ostensibly for improvements to the district including its various mobility woes, though specific uses weren’t identified.

Even though the groundbreaking itself is symbolic, the developers say work should kick off here shortly. In fact, construction staging for the project is already underway on the opposite site of East Avenue near Lambie Street, and following its current schedule, the building should open in 2021. Per Natiivo Austin’s management, 100 units have already been reserved at the property, with prices starting in the $400,000s.