Airbnb is negotiating a partnership with Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty to provide apartment-style hospitality spaces in commercial buildings.
The startup, valued at $35 billion, is navigating options to workaround city laws that have hampered its operations here. With RXR, the short-term rental firm is planning to operate hospitality spaces in existing commercial buildings with a goal to target professionals and business travelers, according to Politico.
New York City council has targeted users of Airbnb in the city for short term rentals and set up a task force to issue violations against people who lease apartments for short term rentals without being present. Some landlords have even been accused of harassing rent-stabilized tenants and by using Airbnb in their buildings.
But the city laws don’t apply to commercial buildings or hotels, which would offer a workaround for Airbnb if it strikes a deal with RXR to use its commercial buildings. RXR owns 15 commercial properties in New York, including 12 in Manhattan.
“Airbnb is always exploring partnerships as we work to build an end-to-end travel platform that combines where you stay, what you do and how you get there, all in one place, but we have no news to share at this time,” the company said in a statement.
Airbnb is currently battling the city on a new law that requires it to provide huge amounts of data on its listings. Parallel to that, Airbnb is trying to work with legislators in Albany to legalize its business. [Politico] — David Jeans