Airbnb to Test Branded Apartments in Florida

Airbnb is developing a branded apartment complex in Florida, the company’s first such move to create Airbnb-oriented accommodations from the ground up, according to people familiar with the matter.

The arrangement, expected to be announced soon, would test Airbnb’s relationships with apartment landlords and developers, who have been wary of the short-term-rental site but are starting to warm to it as revenue potential emerges. In turn, Airbnb is trying to create more pathways to grow its listings, which are expected to slow in some popular cities that have regulated short-term rentals. The company also is trying to take more control over the quality of listings on its platform as it tries to grab more travelers accustomed to mid-tier and luxury hotels.

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Meanwhile, Airbnb has faced lawsuits involving cities and landlords contending that the company contributed to unsafe conditions in apartments, a risk that could grow if the Airbnb name were directly associated with a building.

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Airbnb has considered developing branded apartments or deepening ties with landlords for years.