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RXR and Airbnb call off Rockefeller deal

RXR’s CEO Scott Rechler (Credit: RXR)

RXR and Airbnb have pulled the plug on plans to convert ten floors of 75 Rockefeller Plaza into about 200 hotel rooms for overnight stays. The developer explained that the costs associated with adding additional hotel rooms in lieu of keeping the existing office space was no longer financially sound, BI noted.

  • Be Smart: Airbnb hosts saw $1.5 billion in bookings vanish in mid-March as the travel industry froze. The company gave guests full refunds and forced hosts to dip into their pockets or beg for leniency on April loans and rent. Many hosts are overleveraged with only a third of the hospitality company’s U.S. listings for entire homes or apartments are by those who own a single property. Another third are run by hosts with between two and 24 properties. The remaining third involve hosts with more than 25 properties.
  • Airbnb’s looming long-term problem: One host told WSJ she plans to seek forbearance from banks, find long-term tenants independently of Airbnb, and sell one property. She has shut down her account and said, “I don’t want to bargain with the devil any more.”
  • Issues with allowing short-term rentals in luxury buildings: Sonder and Metro Loft are subject to a lawsuit filed by two traditional renters at 20 Broad Street alleging inept management and unsafe living conditions. The lawsuit alleges that neither Metro Loft nor a leasing agent from Bold New York told them that Sonder operated 169 units spread across the first eight floors of the building, according to TRD. The short-term rental startup recently slashed staff and is struggling mightily as they share WeWork’s business model.

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