Short-term rental platform Airbnb is planning to get around its disputes with some cities over its leases by building its own rental properties.
Airbnb said it plans to kick things off with a 324-unit apartment close to the Walt Disney World Resorts in Kissimmee, Florida. It will also add more apartments in select cities later.
The company said its first apartment will be called Niido Powered by Airbnb, which is slated to open in early 2018.
Individual tenants will be able to rent out Airbnb’s apartments for up to 180 nights per year, and will be given access to a mobile application to manage their stay remotely, check-in, and organize cleaning and linen services. Those tenants who decide to sublet their apartments on Airbnb will be able to share revenues with their landlord, keeping around 75 percent of the revenue they bring in.
“This partnership shows how landlords, developers, and Airbnb can work together to create value for everyone and better serve tenants,” Jaja Jackson, Airbnb’s director of global multifamily housing partnerships told CNNMoney.
The move comes following severe criticism of Airbnb in some cities that the company is causing a rental housing shortage by turning some apartments and homes into unofficial hotels. With that in mind, Harvey Hernandez, CEO of Newgard, the developer tasked with building Airbnb’s new properties, said that the move should “eliminate barriers by encouraging home sharing and creating solutions that work for everyone.”
Airbnb says it is planning a series of developments to support its home-sharing model. The firm plans to first target the southeastern U.S. and then expand to markets like Nashville, Charleston, and cities in Texas, Hernandez told CNNMoney.