In a move to diversify its business ahead of an initial public offering (IPO), Airbnb is taking over 10 floors of the iconic 75 Rockefeller Plaza. Bloomberg is reporting that the company has plans to convert the spaces into 200 overnight apartments.
The move is in collaboration with RXR Realty, one of the largest real estate developers in the state of New York. The companies said the move will create a “new category of urban lodging.”
The suites, which will be custom-designed and curated individually, will offer views of landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Empire State Building and, during the winter, the Rockefeller Christmas tree and ice skating rink.
The idea is to differentiate from hotels by giving guests “all the comforts of home” along with a “curated, authentic New York City experience and sense of community typically reserved for locals,” the report noted.
Airbnb wants to show investors that it’s not just a homesharing startup, but also an end-to-end platform that can provide flights, lodgings and experiences. The company recently bought HotelTonight in its biggest acquisition so far, aiming to increase hotel listings on the site.
The company aims to move further into the hotel industry as some hotel companies, like Marriott International, have announced they are into the homesharing business, Bloomberg reported. Airbnb and RXR are also looking into expanding their collaboration with other notable New York City properties.
Airbnb has struggled in the city, where it has faced resistance from lawmakers. In New York, it’s illegal to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days without the permanent tenant being present, which means some 55,000 Airbnb listings in the city are not legal.
“When we launched Airbnb over 10 years ago, it was immediately clear how people opening their homes could make guests feel like locals," Airbnb’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky said in a statement. “With this new partnership with RXR, we hope to provide that same unique feeling, in the form of new spaces in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and elsewhere, so that everyone can enjoy an authentic New York experience."