Airbnb-branded apartment building to open near Walt Disney World

5 stunning stats about Airbnb
5 stunning stats about Airbnb

Airbnb wants to prove it can be a landlord-friendly service.

The short-term rental startup announced on Thursday plans to build a 324-unit apartment building in Kissimmee, Florida -- located near Walt Disney World Resorts.

The building, which will be branded as "Niido Powered by Airbnb," is slated to open in early 2018.

The modern complex will be built by Miami-based developer Newgard Development Group. It will feature keyless entry and shared common spaces.

Here's what makes it distinctly Airbnb: Tenants will be able to rent out their units for up to 180 nights every year.

Tenants will have access to a new app that's integrated with Airbnb that will help them manage guest stays remotely, from overseeing check-ins to arranging cleaning and linen services.

Those who opt to rent out their apartments on Airbnb will share revenues with their landlord, Newgard said. Newgard CEO Harvey Hernandez told CNN Tech that tenants will keep 75% of the revenue. The rest will go to the development group.

Tenants will be required to sign annual leases which will be "regular market rate," Hernandez said.

Related: You can now book a restaurant reservation on Airbnb

"This partnership shows how landlords, developers and Airbnb can work together to create value for everyone and better serve tenants," said Jaja Jackson, Airbnb's director of global multifamily housing partnerships.

Airbnb -- valued at $31 billion -- has run afoul with some buildings and cities in recent years. Critics of the startup argue that its services turn otherwise rentable apartments into unofficial hotels, thereby eliminating affordable housing.

Last year, the startup established a "Friendly Building Program" to help landlords set the terms for tenants who want to rent out their places on Airbnb. That way landlords can also get a revenue split on the profits.

In the announcement, Hernandez said the new model "eliminates barriers by encouraging home sharing and creating solutions that work for everyone."

Airbnb said the building is the first of a series of developments that will support its home sharing model across the Southeastern U.S. When asked if Airbnb apartment buildings will expand beyond that region, Hernandez said "absolutely."

Among those markets are Nashville, Tenn.; Charleston, South Carolina; and cities in Texas, he said.

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