Real estate / Startups

A pop-up hotel is coming to NoMa

WhyHotel offers short-term rentals within new apartment buildings in the initial lease-up phase. Its next stay is in a new building at 100 K St. NE.

The lobby of 100K Apartments, where WhyHotel is checking in. (Photo via Equity Residential/Facebook)

A startup that runs pop-up hotels in new apartment buildings is moving into a D.C. development.

The team behind WhyHotel announced this week that it will start booking for short-term rentals out of 100 K St. NE in NoMa. In all, 95 units will be available starting on October 19.

WhyHotel offers the chance to book furnished apartments within an apartment building that’s just opening. For these short-term stays, it provides staff to offer the hospitality services typically associated with a hotel.

For the companies looking to lease up new residential spaces – in this case, Equity Residential – it’s a chance to get some early activity and attention at the building. That initial period can run 18-24 months, CEO Jason Fudin told Baltimore.

As the building is fully leased, the pop-up hotel packs up and moves out to make room for permanent residents.

The company was spun out from Vornado Realty Trust, where a team sought to develop a concept reflecting travelers’ desire for a more home-like atmosphere, as shown in the growth of services like Airbnb. After a previous pilot in Pentagon City, the company closed on a $3.94 million seed round last month, led by Rockville-based Camber Creek, and with participation from Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.

Along with the expansion to a new property, the company also said Cathy Ross, CEO of vacation and travel club Exclusive Resorts, is joining its board.

Companies: Placemakr

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