Austin’s most recently announced new hotel aims for difference: Combining Airbnb’s home-oriented brand with hotel-like services and amenities. Breaking ground soon in the Rainey Street District is 48 East: A 33-story building with 249 residential units, all with full amenities, furniture, and hotel licensing.
Called Natiivo Austin, the hotel chain is part of the NGD Homesharing brand, which in 2017 (in partnership with AirBnB) created Niido near Orlando with a similar concept: a vacation or business rental that in theory combines the homey quality of residential short-term rentals with the consistency and efficiency of a hotel. Niido has a similar operation in Nashville, Tennessee, and is planning to open one in Miami as well as other places down the line.
How does Natiivo distinguish itself from regular old luxury hotels (or luxury condos, for that matter)? That’s where Airbnb comes in. While the hospitality-app giant won’t own or manage the building, according to Natiivo’s developers, Airbnb will influence the brand in a number of ways. With an eye toward recreating the home-sharing aesthetic, it will provide design consultation on common areas and rental interiors. Natiivo will also create spaces for local “Airbnb Experiences”—events that involve hosts sharing their own takes on local culture and activities.
And, according to Natiivo, there will be hosts: Owners of residences at 48 East who rent rooms or whole units through Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program, wherein hosts and property managers share those rental revenues. (Incentive to rent, perhaps: Because the building is licensed as a hotel, owners are allowed to stay up to only 30 days at a time.)
According to a Tuesday Austin Business Journal article, Natiivo’s Austin developers are banking on demand from buyers who want something that’s essentially like a time-share that they can use off and on throughout the year—but without any other owners involved.
Prices for the units range from around $300,000 to $1.2 million. Studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units measuring 454 square feet to 1,390 square feet are available. Owners will be responsible for hotel occupancy taxes as well as property taxes and will not be allowed homestead exemptions on property taxes.
Austin-based STG Design will be architect on the project. New York-based INC Architecture and Design will be responsible for interiors (with input from Airbnb, one presumes), which promises “native design elements,” “hyperlocal touches,” and “insider Austin culture” more or less everywhere you look. There will also be co-working spaces, a cafe lounge, a spa-inspired fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck. Newgard Development Group and Pearlstone Partners are developing the property.
The hotel is expected to open in 2021.