In upcoming months, Airbnb will complete Niido Powered By Airbnb, the company’s first independent apartment complex in Kissimmee, Florida. The project’s developer is Newgard Development Group, a Miami-based firm run by Harvey Hernandez, who first approached Airbnb with the concept in 2015. Airbnb will not own the buildings, but serve as a “branded partner” to the project.
Instead of ignoring the tension between the landlord who doesn’t want home-sharing to occur and the tenant who wants to rent out their home for additional income, this program makes the landlord and tenant partners in the home-sharing process. “The Niido model will provide additional income to landlords and tenants while enhancing the experience for Airbnb guests. Niido eliminates barriers by encouraging home sharing and creating solutions that work for everyone,” said Hernandez in a prepared statement.
Residents of the 324-unit Niido will have the option of renting out their apartments via Airbnb up to 180 days a year, providing an easy secondary source of income. Airbnb will take its standard three percent fee, while Newgard will take 25 percent and the remainder will go to the tenant. Amenities for the entire complex will be provided through Airbnb Experiences, the company’s platform for providing local tours and learning experiences to tourists.
Kissimmee, a small city on the outskirts of Orlando, is close to several large amusement parks, including Busch Gardens, Legoland, SeaWorld, and Walt Disney World. Seasonal workers would be among the tenants who might benefit from this program.
According to JaJa Jackson, Airbnb’s director of global multifamily housing partnerships, every aspect of the complex’s design was thought through with the potential for sub-rentals in mind. Though renderings have not yet been released nor an architect named, some details are available to the public. Apartments will feature large common areas and flexible room identities, with offices and other spaces concealing Murphy beds, allowing units to readily accommodate more travelers. Residents will also be able to control the apartment’s Wifi and maintenance through a custom Airbnb app.
With so many visitors coming and going, an added security feature is a keyless entry system with temporary codes produced only for the duration of a guest’s stay, while each room will contain a secure nook where residents can store personal possessions.
In Florida and many other states, landlords and the hospitality industry have decried Airbnb for absorbing their profits and bringing unknown guests into shared buildings, among other concerns. To address some of these issues, Airbnb created the Friendly Building Program, which allows building owners to monitor and restrict apartment and home shares while also getting a cut of the service fee. Niido will essentially take this concept and privatize it, reallocating those funds to building management and programs.
Hernandez and Airbnb are currently seeking to expand the rent-share apartment complex model to other Southeastern states, with a goal of 2,000 apartments over the next two years.